Before moving to Martha’s Vineyard, I was a frequent visitor to Philadelphia’s First Fridays. Downtown was a sea of artists, food vendors, music, and more. One of my favorite ways to enjoy the city.
Funny how you miss those types of events, but now I can enjoy First Friday Vineyard Haven. With over 40 shops and over 50 artists participating, this is a great way to enjoy a night on the town, and get to know the new Vineyard Haven.
Why do I say new? Well, there are lots of things that have opened their doors in town to check out. Here are just a few, Town Pool, Magnetic North, Vineyard Vines, and Sleek MV.
Town Pool has a lot of fun stuff to check out, including the “duck wall” game. Vineyard Vines has really created a welcoming space in the old Midnight Farm store, and Sleek MV is a lovely, chic boutique.
The Vineyard Haven Business Association has been creative and has produced a stellar First Friday. Island Artist Althea Freeman is spearing heading this event which really gives people a lot of reasons to come to town!
Althea is a well known artist. You most likely have seen her distinctive prints at various flea markets and stores like Driftwood and Citrine. She is very talented. Currently, I am coveting her printed clutches. The poster for First Friday Vineyard Haven features Althea’s work.
She recently moved her studio into The Workshop Gallery 32 on Beach Road — which sadly I still need to check out. One of my other favorite artists, Elysha Joy Metals is there too.
Emma from Citrine suggested she join the Vineyard Haven Business Association so she could know what’s happening in town. She had always thought MV should have a First Friday art walk. From there, it just kind of happened.
She started talking to people about it, and people said “I’m in,” excited about it. And then she was in. First Fridays became a new Summer series.
She is hoping it grows in the same way, that people talk about it ,and get excited. For her and the Vineyard Haven Business Association, it’s a community event. It’s non-profit. It relies fully on people wanting to be part of it, because the event has meaning, it’s a way to come together, have fun, and showcase local talent.
“First Friday’s in Vineyard Haven is meant to celebrate the outstanding community of artists, makers, and musicians in our community and those who are inspired by this beautiful place. First Fridays are also a chance to host artists from other places. Seem’s only natural for a port town”.
Many stores participating have specials or host an artist. The shops are open late, many have beverages and snacks and it’s all very inviting and fun.
First Friday starts on Beach Road, yes the Art Cliff food truck is open for the event, and ends all the way at Owen Park, where you will find music. So far, there are three bands booked, which Vineyard Vines is sponsoring.
I went to the first First Friday, which was June 2nd, and I have to say I was inspired. There were a lot of people in town, and it was great to see a number of my favorite artists set up near some of my favorite Vineyard Haven shops, what Althea is calling “match ups.”
Even if some of the artists are carried in the stores, the artists brought a full selection of their work. So much more to choose from, it made shopping more fun.
Brickyard had drinks and creative snacks, and hosted Rebeccah J Leather. Here I saw Rebeccah’s new ombre leather pieces, and think I might need to invest in a pair at one of these First Friday events.
Sleek MV hosted Noepe Designs, where I scored an awesome Martha’s Vineyard key fob. Since it’s a bright color, I can actually find my keys now in my bag that is a black hole. Also, be sure to check out the new narwhal pattern!
Starving from shopping, and having the family in tow, we even had dinner in town. We ate at Waterside Market, on the porch, a little al fresco dining action in town. The food was so good, and they have wine on tap! Love it.
Also, don’t forget that many Vineyard Haven restaurants now have cocktails to offer guests who are dining. How about trying Copper Wok’s Spiced Thai Iced Tea? It’s made with house brewed Thai iced tea, white rum, coconut rum and topped with condensed, evaporated and coconut milk. Perfect for a warm Summer evening.
In addition to the shops and artists, the event is bookended with music at Owen Park. What a backdrop the pavilion there is. The Dock Dance Band was playing for the first event, and they were jamming.
It was incredible, listening to the music, watching the ferries in the background. There was even a rainbow, since it rained for a little bit. We ate, we shopped, we danced. First Friday Vineyard Haven delivered.
Beach House & Vineyard Cloths by Linda Ferrini / Rumi Sumaq
Beach Road Restaurant & Russell Carson / Will Sideman
Bespoke Abode & Benjamin McMormick Photography
Blissed Out & Jen O Jewelry
Bobby B’s Seafood & Pizza & Leslie Freeman Designs / Fae Kontje-Gibbs / Starling studio
Brickman’s & Maiden Wood / Enid McEvoy
Brickyard & Rebeccah J
Bryn Walker & GillyB / Vaalbara Designs
Citrine & Hawk House / Sarah Thompson / Maple Mendhi
CB Stark & Elysha Joy Metals / Lainey Fink
The Collection & Taylor Stone Paper Cuts
Green Room & Alexis Russillo
Island Music & Matty Ro Jewelry
Island Puff and Pass & Pezart
LeRoux & Enchanted Chocolates
LeRoux at Home & Mr.G’s Hot Sauce
Linden Tree Park – Kenworthy Design / Roy Swim
The Mansion House & Tiffany Vanderhoop / Littlest Fish / / Island Naturals
Mardell’s Gift Shop & Jennifer and Lisa Berkin
Murdick’s Fudge & Althea Designs
Off Main & Vineyard Lights Photography
Rainy Day & Noepe Design
Refabulous & Terry Lee Studio
Revive by Sarka & Star Dancer Designs Jewelry
Sleek MV & Conrado Clothing / Adriana Eftimie
Shirt Tales & Morrice Florist
Soft as a Grape & Zays Crochet
Town Pool & The Mad Potter/ Rachel Lucier/ Original Cyn Jewelry
Vineyard Time & Joan Walsh
Author’s Note: Another great addition to your evening or any Summer evening fun is $1.00 oysters at Beach Road.