Fourth of July

Parade, Fireworks Top Martha's Vineyard Fourth of July Celebrations

The whistling of fifes, the crack of baseball bats, the streak of fireworks in the night sky — the Island's streets will swell today with the sounds of the Fourth of July.

July Fourth Parade Marches On With New Grand Marshal

When the clock on the Old Whaling Church strikes 5 p.m. on the Fourth of July, you can bet the annual Edgartown Fourth of July parade will be underway.

No matter that longtime grand marshal Fred B. Morgan Jr., a stickler for punctuality, has passed the torch to Joseph E. Sollitto Jr. Not much will change, least of all the prompt start.

Fourth of July, Then and Now

The Gazette turns back the page in this week’s edition as it revisits the Harris Poll, a first-of-its-kind scientific public opinion survey the results of which were published by this newspaper twenty-five years ago. What follows is an editorial from July 4, 1987, the year the Harris Poll survey was taken.

July 4th Kids Parade

Aquinnah celebrates the Fourth of July with its 10th annual children’s parade. Floats, antique cars, face painting, music, buried treasure on the beach and town officials will all be part of the festivities.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. sharp at the top of Old South Road.

Coco Chihuahua

With Fireworks, Flare and Tradition, Island Celebrates Independence Day

At 5 p.m. sharp on Wednesday, crowds in Norwich, England, gathered to see the Olympic torch arrive at the Queen’s summer estate. Crowds in front of New England televisions watched the Red Sox play in Oakland. And in Edgartown, a downtown crowd waited anxiously for the first notes of the annual Fourth of July parade.
ted morgan

After 43 Years Stepping in Time, Grand Marshal Steps Down

“Forward, march!” he commanded for the 43rd year, and the parade began its journey down the West Tisbury Road.

All eyes in Edgartown were on Col. Fred B. (Ted) Morgan Jr., as he performed his last march as grand marshal and chief organizer of the Edgartown Fourth of July parade.

He marched upright, as always, in perfect time with the drumbeat, while spectators shouted in appreciation from the sidelines. “Let’s go, Ted!” “Alright, Ted!” “Yeah, Mr. Morgan,” they cheered.

Small Town, Small Parade, All for Kids in Aquinnah

As police lights flashed and sirens wailed through the heavy fog that settled in over Moshup Trail, 100 children, clad head to toe in their red-white-and-blue finery, paraded down Old South Road in Aquinnah.

What started nine years ago as a group of eight children strolling on Philbin Beach has transformed into a neighborhood event every year on the Fourth of July.

Independence Day 2010

Islanders take the ferry to that other place, America. We even voted in Nineteen-Seventy-Seven to leave the state, and maybe the nation, too — when Beacon Hill moved to remove the Island’s seat in the statehouse, thereby leaving us with less representation for the taxation states always impose. So what if our ragtag secessionist revolution failed politically; the spirit of separation remains strong. Few remember the proposed Vineyard anthem, but a few more still have the flags of our one nation, and more than a few have good stories from those heady days when freedom was on every Islander’s mind again. In our hearts we remain a place apart.

Independence Day 2010

Rowan family flag

Eastville Old Glory Flies by Tradition

On Sunday morning, a huge nine-by-17-foot United States flag will be hung at an Eastville home as part of one family’s Fourth of July tradition. The flag, which has 46 stars and is thought to be 100 years old, is known inside the Rowan family as the 1910 Battleship Flag.

A descendant of Abigail Luce Smith, Christine Smith Rowan lives year-round at 178 New York avenue with her husband Chris Rowan. They are originally from Connecticut.


Vineyard Celebrates Fourth of July Holiday

On the Fourth of July a couple of centuries back, the United States was founded on compromise, taking the good with the not so good.

It’s appropriate that today on the Vineyard, the fireworks, parades, flags and cookouts are served up along with traffic, crowds and chance of rain.

And for those involved with safety, service or transportation, it’s a day of continuous motion.