Today is the start of the long holiday weekend. Labor Day is on Monday and the end of the high summer season. All municipal buildings and the post office will be closed. The VTA buses begin their fall schedule on Tuesday and the SSA schedule changes on Thursday. We have had excellent weather, but, sadly, all good things must come to an end, as school starts on Thursday. Many other school systems in the commonwealth opened last week. There were several end-of-the-season parties last weekend and a few more are planned over the holiday weekend. If you have to go downtown you will immediately notice the drop in the volume of automobile traffic and you might even find a parking place. It is time to bid farewell to all of our August visitors. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and will come back again next year.

Berries appear to be plentiful this year and there is a rush on canning supplies at most stores.

David and Rosalee McCullough returned to their Music street home just in time for the fair after a busy summer. Geoffrey McCullough, of Hingham, his wife, Signe, and their children, Geoff, Jr., Nellie, Louisa and Henry, stayed at his parents’ house two weeks ago and attended the fair. Kansans William McCullough his wife, Cissy, their children, Caroline, William, Jr., Melissa, and dog, Millie, began their vacation last weekend and will return home on Monday. They attended the fair, beaches and had a swell time. Daughter Dorie and husband Tim and family visited, as did son Davy and his wife. David reports that all of his children and grandchildren visited this month. Just good old-fashioned quality family time. No big events this summer, like Geoff backing his car into a tree in their driveway.

Lynn Christoffers’s brother and sister-in-law, John and Karyn Christoffers, from Warren, N.J., and their daughter, Chelsea, visited Lynn and stayed at the Cleaveland House for three days last week. Lynn reports that they had a swell time at the beach.

Bonnie and Fred Waitzkin, of Music street and New York city, have been here this past month on vacation. Fred has written his first novel, Dream Merchant, that will be released next March.

Malcolm and Judy Hall, of Oklahoma City, have departed for home after an eventful summer with family and guests. Their daughter, Emily, will be staying until at least Thanksgiving. She is busy cleaning houses and working in Edgartown. Emily likes fishing and can’t wait for the bass derby.

Phyllis Meras, of Music street, and her friend Sal Laterra hosted a cocktail party Sunday evening for about 100 friends and neighbors. Sal had cut the grass, arranged the outside furniture and chatted with everyone. Phyllis thanked Sal for all his help preparing for her party. When the mosquitoes began to make their presence known at the party, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the guests nor hamper the conversation. Sal returned to Providence on Monday.

Holly and James Maequedant of Hopkinton and their children, Heidi and Joey, are visiting her parents, Andy and Susie Boass. Heidi, following in her mother’s footsteps, worked at and attended the fair.

Jim and Ellen Cronin, of Los Angeles, are spending two weeks at his son Mark’s Plum Bush Cove house.

Hunter Moorman and Leslie Gray of Panhandle Road and Arlington, Va. had house guests last weekend — Chris and Gordon Turner, of Bradenton, Fla. The Turners used to own a home in Vineyard Meadow Farms for several years.

Hilda Bijuir of New York city is vacationing at her cottage off of Tiah’s Cove Road. Her daughter, Vicki, is staying with her. She was a guest at Phyllis Meras’s cocktail party on Sunday.

Activity around the school has increased dramatically as teachers have been returning to work preparing for the opening of school Thursday morning. The high school will open on Wednesday for the freshmen and all of the other students on the following day. Thirty-four new freshman students will be attending from our town; the exact number of students will not be available until the Oct. 1 school census. The elementary school will have 275 students attending classes this year. School buses are now on the road, so be prepared to stop when you see the red flashing lights as the driver is about to stop to pick up or discharge students. Most of the bus stops do not have sidewalks, so students may be standing near the edge of the road waiting to be picked up. This same advice applies to elementary school children as well.

Andrea Rogers, manager of the 17th Artisan’s Labor Day Festival, reports that it begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over at the Agricultural Hall. Many Island artisans will take part in the show; all types of artwork will be on display — furniture, jewelry, photography and much more. The art is handmade by local residents. There will also be wagon rides for the kids, music, food from Little Rock Farm, many demonstrations and free admission. They just won the best Art and Craft Fair award from Cape Cod Life magazine. She reports that the parking fee will go toward the Vineyard Artisan’s Scholarship Fund. There will be a special invitation-only sneak preview of the festival tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Jennifer Tseng, over at the library, reports that the J.C. Trio will be playing jazz favorites in the library today from 4 to 5 p.m.

Chuck Cotnoir reports that the seasonal flu clinic will be held at the Regional High School on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon. Please mark that important date on your calendar today.

Cycle Martha’s Vineyard will be held on Sunday Oct. 14. If you register by Monday you will receive a 10 per cent discount. You have options of the 100K or 50K bike ride. It is sponsored by the Rotary Club, and proceeds go to a variety of charities. This year’s Cycle Martha’s Vineyard event is in memory of Lucinda Chandler.

Marian Irving reports that members and friends of the First Congregational Church are planning an end-of-summer/back-to-school celebration gathering at Flatbread on Airport Road on Tuesday from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome and a silent auction will be an added feature. The menu provides a wide variety of choices, and a percentage of pizza sales will benefit the church. Tables may be reserved by calling 508-691-1137 or simply come by and have some fun and jointly support Flatbread as well as church fund-raising efforts.

Tara Whiting, town clerk, reports that absentee ballots for the September primary arrived last week. If you will be unable to vote in the primary on Sept. 6, please contact her at the town hall during normal business hours at 696-0148 to make arrangements to vote absentee.

On June 12, 1946, the members of the fair committees established by the Agricultural Society held a meeting in the hall to discuss preparations for the fair. With their annual cattle show and fair less than two months away, plans were rapidly being perfected to make the first fair the society had held since it was interrupted by the war a memorable one. In line with this effort and in order to appeal to the increasing amount of summer visitors, the date of the fair was advanced to August to be held in late summer for the first time in its history. The fair was held at first in October and more recently in September. In addition to the new date and planned new features, William W. Pinney, of Sweeten Water Pond Farm, was elected the society’s president, replacing Charles Norton who resigned. He expressed a keen interest in restoring the cattle show to the prominence it once enjoyed and which the original name, cattle show and fair, would indicate. Twelve committees were established to address all aspects of the fair and were hard at work developing a plan of action, while not forgetting the long tradition. William Penny, Alice Mathewson and Emma Whiting were selected as the executive committee members; John G. MacKenty, program of events and tickets; Jane Newhall, entry clerk; Stephen C. Luce, horse show; Joe Walker and Everett Whiting, livestock. They were the driving force to rejuvenate the popularity of that annual event.

Happy birthday to Pat Mitchell, Chuck Wiley, Michael Smith, Marilyn Wortman, and Janet Johnson today; Ebba Hierta, Karen Russilo and Candace Webster tomorrow; Hilary Blocksom, Ann Bassett, Nelia Decker and Jane Dreeben on Sunday; Dick Burt, Bonnie Eldridge and Mary Sobel on Monday; John Hough and Bernie Holtzer on Tuesday; Ward Just, Laurie Mazer and Gloria Sylva on Wednesday; Sarah Isenberg, Michael Jackson, Cheryl Larsen and Lisa Rogers on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Liz Wilson. sixth anniversary greetings to Jay Segel and Celine Gobard on Monday.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s column. If you have any news please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.