Oak Bluffs has 33 named parks, four Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank properties (Tradewind, Pecoy Point, Southern Woodlands, Farm Pond), three small islands (Woodie in Farm Pond, Brush and Great in Sengekontacket), one Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation property (Dodger’s Hole), one golf course (Farm Neck) and a tremendous set of wooded trails between County and Barnes Roads, or 43 pristine, protected parks encompassing perhaps 20 per cent of the town’s land. The math computes to about 581 people per park when you include our summer guests.

Tonight, however (rain date tomorrow), Ocean Park, one of the largest and certainly our prettiest, is put to its best use in hosting an enervated and excitedly diverse crowd of upwards of 10,000 folks, again united and delighted to share the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks, thanks to the timely sponsorship of Black Entertainment Television. This past March, BET executive Michael Pickrum, upon finding out that the event might be cancelled, offered to contribute financially. The charming Debra Lee, CEO and chairman, says that BET’s (Comcast cable channel 70) and its other cable channel, the upscale Centric (channel 195), has long had a relationship with the Island. BET/Centric hosts a gala party that has become an annual event at Hooked, attracting BET audiences and vacationers and wide media coverage. Anita Billings, the Oak Bluffs fire department administrative assistant/secretary of the Firemen’s Civic Association that has hosted the event for 36 years, offered effusive praise to BET for its voluntary contribution, allowing the fireworks to continue another year. Absent any apparent banners of thanks or welcome, I hope BET has been acknowledged by our selectmen or town administrator.

My family is thankful for our fireworks traditions. Like many, we stake out a spot in the park with beach chairs and blankets while someone runs into town for apple fritters from MV Gourmet and pizza from Giordano’s. Brother Glenn provides young ones with glow sticks and supervises them as they run around and (hopefully) tire enough to enjoy the show before which we share Karen’s fried chicken and deviled eggs. Thanks, BET and the Firemen’s Civic Association.

Renowned artist, scholar and curator David C. Driskell exhibits his art for the first time on the Vineyard, hosted by Meadow View Farm’s Adrienne and Ron Childs and Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Ron Gault at the Gault’s home at 9 Spruce avenue today from 4 to 7 p.m.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today, the Opportunity Agenda presents Learning from Trayvon: How Media and the Law Can Better Serve Black Men and Boys at the Sailing Camp. Hosted by a committee of Vineyard personalities — Reginald and Diane Felton, Prof. Henry Louis (Skip) Gates, Ron and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Valerie Moseley and Flash and Bennie Wiley among them — Debra Lee of BET Networks provides opening remarks and Teresa Clarke, chairman and CEO of Africa.com is moderator. RSVP at events@opportunityagenda.org.

Longtime Oak Bluffs summer residents, and my childhood friend, Barbara and Dr. Ken Edelin, and a host committee of Vineyard celebrities are joining the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in bringing Martha’s Vineyard a free public forum entitled Hijacking Democracy: Voter Suppression and the 2012 Elections, from 3 to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Lani Guinier and Debo Adegbile will discuss the strategies employed to combat restrictive changes in the election that could determine the outcome of the 2012 elections. RSVP to mbush@naacpldf.org for more information.

At 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association presents The Wynton Marsalis Quintet playing Treasures at Dusk at The Tabernacle; tickets available at the door.

Artist Glenn Tunstull appears at Circuit avenue’s Cousen Rose Gallery tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m..

The annual Ken Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament is Sunday with a 7 a.m. registration and 8 a.m. tee time at Mink Meadows. This year features a $10,000 cash Hole-in-One prize. Details are at 2012kwmsgolf.eventbrite.com.

The MVNAACP’s Jazz Brunch, “It’s a Family Affair,” is at Hooked from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday featuring the Orrin Evans Trio with Lezlie Harrison on vocals and a conversation with award-winning journalist and author Michele Norris, known for NPR’s All Things Considered. For information go to marthasvineyardnaacp.org.

On Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m., my longtime playmate Michelle Stent co-chairs an illustrious committee of seasonal Vineyard ladies, including Adrienne and Sharon Lopez, who play host to Women Voters & the 2012 Presidential Election and Other Urgent Modern-Day Issues, at the Old Whaling Church. The honorable Congress member Barbara Lee, author Teri Williams, noted entertainment attorney Amy Goldson and TV journalist Carole Simpson are the panelists, moderated by Sabrina Lamb.

There will be a reception for artist Michaele Christian at Featherstone’s Pebble Gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, and the show continues to August 26.

From 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, the Martha’s Vineyard branch of the National Association for the Study of African American Life and History holds its 10th anniversary at the high school. Call Bob Hayden for tickets at 508-693-8714.

Howard University’s Bisons on The Vineyard and the United Church of Christ invites all to Spirits Rejoice: Jazz on the Vineyard Thursday at 7 p.m. at Union Chapel. This benefits The Reverend Joseph H. Evans Pastoral Scholarship Fund. Generations of us grew up waving to “Uncle” Joe and “Aunt” Harriet Evans on the porch of their Nantucket avenue home, and many more knew him as the first African American president of the United Church. Tax-deductible tickets will be available at the door and additional contributions are welcome.

Last Thursday’s opening of the Martha’s Vineyard Harlem Fine Arts Festival at Hooked was fabulously elegant, rich in art and attendance. Oak Bluffs’ Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates welcomed guests and thanked producer Dion Clarke for bringing the wonderful event to the Island. Apparently the insular Harthaven conclave invoked its special privilege in denying this Fine Arts Festival a permit for a tent, which would have protected the amazing and valuable exhibition of African American culture from last week’s rain. The peculiar action also dramatically reduced the amount of work expected to have been shown — despite sales estimated at $500,000.

Longtime Oak Bluffs visitors public relations pro Anne Walker Marchant, producer Debra Martin Chase, film executive Michael and wife Jamie Lynton and professor Skip Gates brought family and friends a special screening of the new movie Sparkle to the Island Theatre Monday night in advance of yesterday’s Los Angeles premiere. Along with performances by songstress Jordin Sparks and Vineyard-based movie Jumping the Broom’s Mike Epps, the late Whitney Houston gives an Oscar-worthy performance. The producers hosted a gala reception at Hooked after the screening, attended by quite a few celebrities in business, government and the performing arts. Sparkle officially opens this evening. The Sand Theater does not.

Recalling that we live in the County of Dukes County (yes, that’s true), I cannot resist letting you know that the small park on Pennacook avenue is named Park Park. I love this town!

Let’s all increase our contributions to the fireworks.

Keep your foot on a rock.