The news from Vinalhaven

By Susan Raven | Nov 08, 2012
Photo by: Susan Raven Everyone enjoys a laugh during the Windfall Festival pie eating contest.

This past week bridged the gap from October to November with great turnout at the Halloween Parade with kids dressed as pets and pets dressed up too. The accompanying long line down Main Street for refreshments at the Gawker was even more remarkable than the parade. As for Halloween night, some homeowners in the village reported less trick-or-treaters this year, which corresponded to higher intake of candy themselves.

On a healthier front, the Sparkplug Farm garlic event was both educational with displays and mini-lessons on garlic, and entertaining with great snacks and visits to the turkey enclosure. The Windfall Festival was a wonderful community celebration with smiles in every direction. Jeanie Bineau’s horse-drawn wagon rides were picturesque, the middle school students running parachute games were very helpful with the little kids, and the pie eating contest was messy and hilarious. I’m not the only one hoping that the Windfall becomes a yearly tradition again, and many thanks go out the ARC’s Education Program and the middle school team of teachers and students who planned the festival.

With all this and Hurricane Sandy too, we’ve all been kept quite busy. There were a number of folks who went out to see the crashing waves and the high tides brought by the storm. Thankfully the hurricane seemed to leave the island relatively unscathed. The herring boats that harbored here to avoid the winds coming into Rockland did fine as did the rest of the boats from what I heard.

School events

The Vinalhaven School is bringing some great opportunities to students this fall starting with a visit on Nov. 7 by author, illustrator and Maine native Chris Van Dusen. “He will describe his writing toolbox, chat about where story ideas come from, and share what it’s like to build a book from the ground up.” according to Island Readers & Writers, a Maine nonprofit that is making this program possible. Van Dusen’s newest book titled "If I Built a House," has just been released and it is sure to be as entertaining as his many other books for children.

Soon after, on Nov. 13, singer, songwriter, and master guitarist Denny Breau will be teaching high school guitar students during the day, and performing an evening concert at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. It’s greatly appreciated when artists in residence share their talents with the community. Tickets are available at the door and children under eight can attend for free.

Business around town

Though things are hopping on the cultural side, business is a tad slower in the fall with a few stores done for the season. There’s something about the sign “Closed ‘till spring” that drives home the seasonality of small town life. I’ve noticed a few folks pondering over the auction sign on the Downstreet Market which will have an open house Nov. 16 and will be auctioned off on Nov. 26. Folks can recall a variety of past uses of the building including a café, pizza place, market, housing, etc., and it will be interesting to see what becomes of it next.

What folks are talking about

Folks are talking about what to get involved in as the holiday season approaches and the calendar fills. If you’re feeling like getting some singing into your week, you can join the Vinalhaven Community Chorus to prepare for the Christmas Concert. Rehearsals are at the Union Church at 6 p.m. each Sunday and all are welcome. If instrumental music is more to your liking, the Town Band is resuming its rehearsals on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There are even instruments and beginner lessons available, so nothing should hold you back from joining. In other artistic opportunities, The Vinalhaven Players have announced that Noises Off will be performed in early March and are auditioning cast members on Nov. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Union Church.

All of the cultural opportunities available this fall are made possible mostly through volunteerism and local funding, so as you get those end of year appeals in the mail from local organizations, give a thought to the vitality of our island and how we all have a hand in keeping it that way.

If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please drop me a line at or leave a message at 863-4134.

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