Tomorrow the 31st annual Tivoli Day festivities begin and Oak Bluffs will be the center of the Island for at least a day.
“I don’t want to call it a fair, but in Oak Bluffs it is a fair. People can come out from across the Island, have a lunch and stroll the streets,” said Dennis DaRosa, president of the Oak Bluffs Association and owner of Martha’s Vineyard Printing.
Tivoli Day was created years ago by town residents who sought to celebrate the end of summer and honor year-round residents who held on through the hardworking summer months, said Renee Balter, vice present of the association and former executive director.
“It was some way that the business community could thank the residents of the town for enduring yet another summer,” Mrs. Balter said. “With the influx of people and the inconveniences of not being able to park, this is a way to say thanks,” she said. “You’ve got to give Oak Bluffs credit for being the event capital of the Vineyard,” she added.
On Tivoli Day Circuit avenue will be closed to traffic late in the morning. More than 50 vendors, many of them local artists, artisans and nonprofit organizations, will come out and sell discounted wares. There will be live music and even a pirate ship in the street.
“People will come to town to schmooze,” Mrs. Balter said. “For us it is a way to see the friends you haven’t seen all summer.”
Live music by the Stingrays can be heard from noon to 1:45 p.m. Mr. DaRosa’s son Phil DaRosa will perform from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Island favorites Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will play from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.
There will be a children’s bike parade; youngsters are invited to dress up and bring their three-wheeler bicycles and wagons for the parade.
There will also be a Wheelmen Bike Show with old-fashioned tall bicycles.
Local radio station WMVY will broadcast live from the event.
The seventh annual George V. Tankard Jr. memorial 5k road race and one-mile fun run begins at 10:30 a.m. with the one-mile run. The 5k run begins at 11 a.m. The race is open to racing wheelchairs, baby strollers, skateboarders, roller bladers and bicycles. Proceeds raised from the event go to the NAACP.
Tivoli gets its name from an old dance hall that once stood at the site today of the town police station. It was an upbeat place filled with music, fellowship and friendship. And for a couple of hours tomorrow, Oak Bluffs will be just such a place.
“Tivoli Day is an event put on by us for us,” Mrs. Balter said.