It’s the week of the “Taste,” and I know many people scurrying around last minute for the perfect outfit for this Thursday’s event, which I like to call the unofficial kick-off of the Summer season. It’s a reason for us to get dressed up, and have a great time with our friends and family, many whom we won’t see again until September.
Each year the Taste adds something new. Whether its new vendors or cool schwag, we are always in for a treat. Luckily, Meg O’Connor, Director of Property Management and so much more, of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust was able to meet with me to fill me in on a little of what we can expect at this year’s event which will have over 90 vendors to delight and entice us.
The Pink Carpet & More At The Taste
This year Vineyard Vines is going to roll out the “Pink Carpet.” Yes, there will be a step & repeat photo op soon as you walk through the tent. Now that you know, be sure to work on your best pose. Think Angeline Jolie’s stance for the Oscars this year. Just Kidding! Also, Vineyard Vines will be offering even cooler schwag for you to take home. Seriously, who doesn’t love free goodies.
There are some new vendors joining the event to add to the delitable edibles like Hooked, Christian & Greer Thornton’s newest restaurant venture, which has been receiving rave reviews. I can’t wait to see what they make for us. And for the very first time, a movie theater (well it’s a lot more than that), the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, which will be offering a sample of what we can expect from their concession stand in the Fall when the building is complete. Sort of a sneak preview you could say.
‘Taste’ The Best Of Vineyard Restaurants
Of course there will be many of our favorites, who delight us with their culinary creations each year, like L’etoile, which has been a participant since the very beginning. Michael always prepares something fresh and fabulous, forcing you to go back to his table more than once.
There is such a huge range of restaurants and eateries from Lobsterville Grille to Right Fork Diner to Sidecar to Black Sheep. I would say almost half of the Island’s restaurants are present so the variety is almost endless. We’ll even see the Black Dog Tavern & Bakery there after taking a long hiatus. We can’t forget the caterers too! What deliciousness we’d be missing if we didn’t have the Kitchen Porch or Tea Lane and the other caterers. There really is an amazing assortment of some of the Island’s best food under one tent.
We can’t forget desserts too, and you don’t even have to wait until after dinner! How I long to visit Cakes By Liz in the back corner. I hope that this year she’ll do those little red velvet cupcakes again. There’s Chilmark Chocolates (no need to drive up to Chilmark), and Murdick’s and Espresso Love cookies. Even New Moon Magik-Enchanted Chocolates will be there. Tell me you’re not craving something sweet right now!
With all this food consumption, it’s important to have the right beverage, and the choices are a plenty as always! From our local Offshore Ale beer to Sierra Nevada to Leinenkugel’s Beer (never tried before), there is a beer for everyone there. As for wine and such, Our Market & Your Market always has the best bubbly and there will be a vast assortment of wines from Commonwealth Wine & Spirits, Ruby Wines, US Beverage and more.
So now that we talked a little bit about the vendors, let’s talk strategy. Meg told me that most people have a gameplan for the evening to maximize their experience. Some methods include counter clockwise, back to front, side to side and more. It’s actually kind of smart if you think about it. You can visit all your favs first and hit all the tables if you stay on your charted course. We all know it’s easy to get stuck in one place and miss so much. Whatever your plan, I just hope you have fun.
‘Taste’ Some Swingin Music
Speaking of having fun, we have to mention the music! The music is a huge part of the fun of the evening. The Sultans of Swing really get the party going each year. I don’t think there is any other event where you will see so much dancing! From the moment they belt out the first cord, until their last number, there are people dancing the night away. You’ll see some fancy footwork on that dance floor. People are not afraid to strut their stuff!
When you think you can’t have any more fun or laugh any harder, it’s time to head to the couch in the corner. For years, Island photographer Joe Mikos has been taking the best pictures of the Taste. Throughout the night, you’ll find people on the couch with their friends making faces, striking a pose, and and laughing and having fun. Logging on to Joe’s website the next day to see everyone’s photos, which range from silly to sexy and everything in between, is just part of the experience.
We know that the event is fabulous but do you know why it’s important for us to support this event with your ticket purchase? Well, without the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, we’d have no Alley’s General Store or Flying Horses or Whaling Church or Union Chapel. The MVPT is the steward for those properties and fourteen others. They are responsible for maintaining so much of our Vineyard history for us and future generations to enjoy.
This Thursday, the Taste of the Vineyard is celebrating its 27th year! I hope you’ve got your tickets ready, a fabulous outfit, and that you’re prepared for some serious fun. See you there!
To learn about the history of Taste of the Vineyard visit http://www.mvpreservation.org/p.php/preservation/history. Without the support of the vendors who donate their product and the volunteers who donate their time, this event would not be possible – a big thanks to all of you!
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