President Barack Obama will return to Martha's Vineyard this summer, making his fourth trip to the Island during his presidency, the White House confirmed Friday.
Mr. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to the Vineyard on Aug. 10 and remain on Island until Aug. 18., a White House official said. No public events have been scheduled during their stay.
Rumors of the president’s return to Martha's Vineyard have circulated on the Island for several months, but until Friday had not yet been confirmed. The president and his family vacationed on the Island in August of 2009, 2010 and 2011.
No details have been released about First Family’s accommodations for their 2013 trip.
Mr. Obama and his family previously rented Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, a private estate overlooking Tisbury Great Pond. The gentlemen’s farm sold in late 2011 to famed architect Lord Norman Foster. At the time of the sale, the Gazette was told that the new property owners would not rent out the estate.
Peter Martell, owner of the Wesley Hotel in Oak Bluffs, said he has 70 rooms booked for Secret Service members and five reserved for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).
“We’ve never had a problem with these guys, they’re really good,” he said. “They’re respectful.”
Martha’s Vineyard Airport Manager Sean Flynn said he has not received confirmation from the White House about the president’s trip. But based on the family’s last visit, a 30 mile flight restriction will be put in place during his stay, he said. In the past Mr. Flynn has worked with the necessary agencies to coordinate a plan that allows planes to continue to fly in and out of the airport.
“We try to improve on it every time,” he said.
Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s visit is scheduled for one of the busiest weeks of the entire year on the Island. Grand Illumination Night at the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association will take place Aug. 14; the 152nd Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is Aug. 15 though Aug. 18. and the Oak Bluffs fireworks show is scheduled for Aug. 16.
During past visits, people gathered at the airport with welcome signs and flags hoping to catch a glimpse of Mr. Obama. Crowds also gathered on the front porch of Alley’s General Store to watch the motorcade pass by and cheer on the president’s arrival.
Stores across the Vineyard put out the welcome mat with special memorabilia, including special ice cream flavors, Obamaritas at Sharky’s Cantina and presidential dog treats for the family pooch, Bo. Golfers hoped their tee time was scheduled around the same time of the president’s on the links of Farm Neck, Vineyard Golf Club or Mink Meadows, a favorite pastime of Mr. Obama’s.
But for the majority of their stays, the Obamas have kept to themselves and out of the public eye, taking to beach visits at private homes and bike rides in the state forest. Summer book shopping at Bunch of Grapes, fine dining at State Road and fried food at Nancy’s Snack Bar in Oak Bluffs also have been regular stops for the Obama family during previous visits.
For more photos of the president's 2009, 2010 and 2011 vacations to Martha's Vineyard, see our gallery: Past Presidential Trips: Obama Family Visits Martha's Vineyard.