Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove illumination night’

Illumination Night. Campground. Oak Bluffs, Mass. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Illumination Night. Campground. Oak Bluffs, Mass. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click left for take out.


The Martha’s Vineyard Campground in Oak Bluffs  was established by Methodists in 1860.

They have  gingerbread cottages, a museum, an iron Tabernacle, and are on the National Historic Register.

Illumination Night occurs once each summer.  The oriental motif is part of their traditions. Their Illumination Night is the mother of all such events.


tabernacle. jpg

Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. Photo by the Martha’s Vineyard CMA.

This is how the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association describes itself:

“The Tabernacle continues to exist as a “Beacon to All” and continues to serve as a religious and cultural center for the residents of the Campground, Oak Bluffs and the Island itself. It is the largest venue on the Vineyard and, with its marvelous acoustics and beautiful setting, local groups, musical groups, individual performers, theater groups, choruses and even the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra find enthusiastic audiences. The MVCMA offers a wide variety of cultural and religious programs throughout the summer season (July and August.)”


Oak Bluffs campground. Internet photo.


In 2014, Ocean Grove resurrected its own Illumination Night, a festive event that used to happen on Wesley Lake each summer, about a century ago, with large crowds, lights, and many boats.

The OGCMA’s latest edition of Illumination Night is held in Auditorium Square Park, but it’s not clear if this will be a religious event or a celebration for everyone.

Sometimes they seem to confuse the two, as occurred during the Fountain dedication last summer.

The reprise edition in the Grove was in 2014.

It is the sort of event that can bring “community” back into the OG vocabulary.



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