It’s been a banner year in the bog at Cranberry Acres, located off Lambert's Cove Road, with an expected yield of over 2,000 pounds. Harvest season is well under way.


Magnificent as a roasted turkey is, it would be nothing, possibly the entire day of Thanksgiving would be nothing, without the small, tart, shining red cranberry.


Members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) headed down to the bogs to celebrate Cranberry Day, a longstanding harvest tradition for the Vineyard’s Native American tribe. The day ended with a potluck dinner.


On Halloween morning, Carol Magee, the executive director of the Vineyard Open Land Foundation, gave me my first lesson in cranberry sorting.


Now I know better.

Throughout my childhood, I only recognized cranberries as that deep red gelatinous blob that came out of a can on Thanksgiving Day.


Wampanoag Cranberry Day potluck BW

Beverly Wright, former chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and current Aquinnah selectman, remembers when Cranberry Day lasted for three days and off-Island tribal members would come to the Vineyard to participate.

She can remember riding on an oxcart to the Aquinnah cranberry bogs, going down dirt paths that no longer exist and cutting across back roads before Lighthouse Road was paved.

Even years later, the excitement of Cranberry Day remains.