Make no mistake – there really is only one end to summer, and in 2015 September 22 is the last day of summer. But for most, there are symbolic ends to summer – a period of time where your activities shift from those of summer to those of fall. The most commonly referenced symbolic end to summer is Labor Day Weekend – this coming weekend. By Labor Day Weekend almost everyone, except for empty nesters or families without school-age children, has moved on to fall activities.
For others, whose children go back to school in the last couple of weeks of August, the symbolic end comes earlier.
For me the first big “notice” that summer is coming to an end is the third week of August. That is the week of the last three big events of summer on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Starting with the Wednesday of that week with Grand Illumination in Oak Bluffs, followed by the Ocean Park fireworks on Friday, and of course the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society fair from Thursday through Sunday. That is biggest week of the entire summer on the Island and the cap to the summer season with a bang. After that the Island is clearly shifting into wind-down mode. Student summer help starts to disappear and many families with school-age children head home to start school. I always start looking for the first colored leaves of fall foliage season after this week.
For those not beholden to the schedules of school though, here is a little secret. The first three weeks of September, both on Martha’s Vineyard and other tourist destinations throughout New England, are usually the nicest weeks of the summer. The weather is still warm, at the coast the water is at its warmest for the season, and the crowds are gone! For these lucky individuals, summer will really end on September 22.