Traditions will be kept this Memorial Day weekend as the Vineyard honors veterans and celebrates the coming summer. On Friday at 8:30 a.m. there will be a small ceremony at the Oak Bluffs School, honoring the history of the holiday. As in years past, the events of the day continue with students at the Tisbury and Edgartown schools marching to the sea to lay flowers in the water.
The Edgartown School will depart at 1 p.m. for a ceremony that will include patriotic music by the Eagle Band and Mark Lovewell, a recitation of Taps by seventh grader Jillian Pyden and a reading of the Gettysburg address by the eighth grade class. The Tisbury School will depart at 12:30 p.m. on their own route, which travels to Owen Park via Spring street and Main street.
On Sunday, the public is invited to pay their respects to those who have or are currently serving in the military at the annual Reading of Names and Rank. The service will be held at the Trinity United Methodist worship center at the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs beginning at 10 a.m. and will conclude with Taps.
On Monday morning, come see the raising of the flags at the Avenue of Flags in Vineyard Haven at 7:30 a.m. before heading over to watch the Memorial Day parade. The parade will start at the American Legion at 10 a.m. and continue back to the Avenue of Flags, where volunteers are encouraged to help raise the flags to full mast at noon. The flags will be lowered again at 3 p.m.
The weekend closes on a festive note on Monday, Memorial Day, with the Tisbury town picnic held at the recently restored Tashmoo Spring building. Grills will be set up from noon to 4 p.m. and the whole community is invited to come by for a day of free ice cream, watermelon, music from the Flying Elbows, and of course, relaxation. There will be dinghies and small rowboats available for visitors to take out on the water — just beware of the swans!
Pets are not allowed at the picnic but there will be pony rides and hopefully an alpaca or two in attendance.
Town government offices, banks, post offices and libraries will be closed on Monday in observance of the national holiday.