Downtown Edgartown began looking a bit like Christmas weeks ago when wreathlike green loops appeared on the white picket fences at Hob Knob Inn and Tomassian & Tomassian law offices. Soon after, Santa began standing sentry in faux Doc Martens by Edgartown Hardware and evergreen spriggery sprouted in Soigne’s windows.

The festooning is complete now and there certainly will be no silent night in Edgartown today through Sunday. Lights, music, zooming children and neighbors calling holiday greetings will ignite holiday spirits that old Ebeneezer himself could not resist. All over the Island, holiday events, fairs, music and storytelling will be held, from West Tisbury’s wreath and tree sale to a production of The Homecoming, a Christmas eve play at the Vineyard Playhouse and a holiday gift show benefitting Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs.

The 2007 edition of Christmas in Edgartown includes more than 40 separate events, including holiday rituals such as the lighting of thousands of lights winding through Donaroma’s nursery at 6 p.m. today with chestnuts roasting, West Tisbury’s bell choir and singer Jennifer Kish with Robert Schellhammer. The Santa parade begins on Saturday morning down Main street at 10 a.m., and the 6 p.m. Saturday lighting of the community Christmas tree takes place on the town green.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Minnesingers showcase a cocktail party concert Friday evening at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House to benefit the Vineyard Preservation Trust.

Alas, the annual lighting of the Edgartown lighthouse will not occur this year because of construction at the site.

Christmas in Edgartown is sponsored by the Board of Trade with a nice touch, a well blended weekend of commerce, charitable giving and holiday shopping and celebration. Many of the events benefit Island charities and nonprofits.

On Saturday, for example, hot cider and hot chocolate will be dispensed free in the Main street mini park with donations to benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters; Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard will benefit from proceeds of Handmade from the Heart craft fair at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House all day, and the Edgartown eighth grade’s Washington, D.C., trip will benefit from an arts and crafts fair all day in the school gymnasium.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) will be at the Sea Store on Main street all weekend with its Paws to Adopt program, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum will offer Jewelry Jingle, a sort of jewelry rummage sale, for the first time, from 2 to 4 p.m. where donated jewelry can be purchased. Proceeds benefit the museum.

Of course, the Island’s mightiest holiday charity, The Red Stocking Fund, will benefit from its 23rd annual Chowder Fest held on Saturday between noon and 2 p.m. in the mini park featuring many of the Island’s restaurants.

In addition to gallery hopping and trunk shows, grownups can taste complimentary hors d’oeuvres at Detente or taste wine at Soigne, then get the kids and clear their palates at the second annual cookie tasting at Espresso Love where impressario Carol McManus has been maniacally refining her chewy chocolate chip gingerbread cookies all week.

Santa’s got a full weekend as well. The nippers can have a photo opportunity with the big red elf following the parade on Saturday. Santa will be sitting by Past and Presents on Main street between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and he’ll join Island kids for breakfast at The Wharf restaurant on Sunday morning between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to benefit the Jim Lambert Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Santa being Santa, he’ll probably be checking who’s been naughty and nice, but he’d really enjoy meeting Island authors at Edgartown Books all day Saturday, maybe teaching at the gingerbread workshop at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary Saturday afternoon or wreath-making at Donaroma’s on Saturday morning.

Traveling the world as he does, Santa has seen it all but he could revisit his cultural vistas at a new Christmas in Edgartown event, medieval plays and caroling each weekend day at St. Andrew’s Church or poke his head in to see holiday finery at the Inns of Edgartown tour such as the Shiverick Inn, featuring spiced punch and fresh baked goods, and at a myriad of realty office open houses. We know he has a reserved seat at the Whaling Church for the Minnesingers annual family concert on Saturday at 4 p.m.

No wonder Santa spends so much time at Christmas in Edgartown. The once moribund event has been revitalized over the past four years and become the Island’s signature holiday kickoff event. But not the only one.

Easily a thousand or more residents and visitors fill Main street between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening. “Main street looks like August, except with winter coats,” said Christina Cook of The Christina Gallery and the Edgartown Board of Trade.