Tradition Celebrated at 145th Grand Illumination Night

At dusk last night a single lantern lit by Gordon Long and his son Roy made its way down the center aisle of the Tabernacle in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground. There was a collective gasp from the large crowd gathered inside the Tabernacle and around blankets and picnic baskets on the lawn.

News Update:Friday, August 17 - Camp Ground Illuminates the Night with Lanterns

Kennith Kirk tugged the hem of his mother’s dress. Over the screams and laughs of his two twin siblings, Maya and Robert, Kennith’s question was barely audible to all but his mother. “Why are there so many moons?” the three-year-old wanted to know. Maya, seven, whipped her head around and said “They’re lightbulbs!”

Grand Illumination Ignites the Night At Camp Ground

The gingerbread cottages that occupy the Camp Ground surrounding the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs don’t really need adornment. They are already ornately decorated, boasting vibrant paint and colorful coordinating trim. They are picture-book perfect, the handsome and popular subjects of whimsical Island postcards and indeed picture books. But embellished they will be, tomorrow night, to recognize the Vineyard’s annual Grand Illumination night.

Camp Ground Twinkles With History

Wayne Mallory kept an old dish soap bottle full of water handy as he gradually lit a porchful of paper and silk lanterns at his rental cottage just across from the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs Wednesday night. He and his wife, Linda, laughingly referred to the bottle as their fire hose, to be used in case a mishap resulted from using real candlelight to illuminate the lanterns, as opposed to the electric lights that have gained popularity in the past few decades. The lantern collection belongs to Dr. Albert Alexander, and several pieces date back over a hundred years.

Illumination Night Rocks Gently

Illumination Night Rocks Gently

It’s August and some of the heaviest hitters have come aboard. There’s the Agricultural Fair, the Oak Bluffs Fireworks, some guy from Washington, D.C. is rumored to be heading our way, and a host of other big name panels, readings and discussions are all in full bloom.

Lanterns Light Up a Vineyard Summer Night

Excitement filled the soft summer evening long before the first lantern was lit in the Camp Ground on Wednesday night. Runabout children with glow sticks and the constant flash of cameras created a parade of lights as early as 7:15 p.m. at the Tabernacle, where a large audience had already gathered. The growing crowd seemed almost to be in competition with the stunning summer weather as to who could deliver the best performance.