There’s something comforting about wandering the streets of Edgartown and being able to see inside the extra large doors of the old whaling captains homes, knowing so much history has crossed those thresholds.

And as American flags go up this week decorating the streets of the Vineyard, and red and white flower pots dot balconies and adorn storefronts on Main street in Edgartown, history repeats itself. The Fourth of July is Sunday, marking both the national Independence Day holiday and the official start of summer on the Island.

Fred B. Morgan Jr. has been organizing the Edgartown parade for the past 40 years, and every year he says it gets bigger and bigger. “A parade is a parade,” Mr. Morgan said of the yearly preparations he and a group of volunteers organize. “But I look forward to . . . marching through town.”

Parade-goers will have the thrill of seeing floats from Felix Neck, Camp Jabberwocky, the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Vines, Edgartown Boys’ and Girls’ Club, puppets from the ArtFarm, and a 1945 fire truck among others. Parade participants are asked to be at the Edgartown School by 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Floats and participants will march beside the Colonial Navy of Massachusetts based in Fall River, a traditional fife and drum band, and the Bay State Band from New Bedford, who will be performing traditional military marches.

Town selectmen and Cape and Islands Rep. Tim Madden will judge the best floats from the stands in front of the Old Whaling Church, with a grand prize of $1,000 at stake.

Participating in the parade does come with a few rules however: all automobiles in the parade must be 50 years or older unless fully decorated as a float, throwing candy from floats is prohibited, and there can be no alteration of the Star Spangled Banner from performing bands.

The parade steps off promptly at 5 p.m. from the Edgartown School on West Tisbury Road, making its way down Pease’s Point Way, over to Morse street and onto Fuller street, where it then heads up toward North Water street and up Main street where it will pause in front of the viewing stand at the Old Whaling Church.

Edgartown police will close lower Main, Dock and North Water streets to traffic from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., but visitors should expect delays to begin around 3 p.m. and last until 11 p.m. after the conclusion of the fireworks. Free trolley service will be provided from the town parking lot at the Triangle on Upper Main street to the center of town.

“I hear they’re going to be fantastic,” Melissa Vincent at the Edgartown Board of Trade said earlier this week of the fireworks. She was thankful to the town of Edgartown for helping support the fireworks display this year, and said the rest of the funding came from fund-raising. Fireworks begin at dark.

With a weather forecast of warm temperatures and clear skies for the entire weekend, crowds began streaming onto the Island earlier this week. Bob Davis, treasurer and comptroller at the Steamship Authority, told the Gazette that everything is on track for a smooth weekend. He said foot traffic has picked up heavily in the past few days, and the good weather that’s expected would make things easier.

“Vehicle space is pretty much sold out but there are a few spaces available here and there,” Mr. Davis said. “Everything’s operating on schedule.”

Sean Flynn at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport said he hopes this weekend goes as well as June went. “We’re hoping traffic is going to be up, and the weather is going to be good,” Mr. Flynn said. “We just know we’re going to be busy.”

Transportation hubs aren’t the only ones getting ready for the weekend. Painters were out in full force this week, touching up white picket fences of Edgartown before homeowners could drape American flags and bunting over them. Behind the fences blue and white hydrangea bushes cooperated with full blooms, as if they knew it was time for all things red, white and blue.

It’s easy to be reminded of America’s past when you walk by the 18th and 19th century homes in downtown Edgartown, such as the Daniel Fisher House on Main street, where, by the way, you can feast at an open house barbecue from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday on the front lawn.

Fella Caters will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers to families who want to enjoy a meal before the parade starts while enjoying the marching band concerts at the Old Whaling Church next door. The Vineyard Haven Band will play at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a great spot to see the parade,” Chris Scott, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, which owns the Fisher house, said earlier this week. “It’s become a real institution . . . and it’s real Americana.”

Mr. Scott will be marching with the Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard, who will be accompanied by the Cumberland Pipe Band from Cape Cod. “I’ll be in my kilt,” Mr. Scott said. “You don’t get that many excuses to wear one over the course of the year.”

Elsewhere on the Vineyard, storeowners were gearing up for one of the busiest weekends of the year. Roger Blake at Eileen Blake’s Pies on State Road in West Tisbury said he expected his daughter and granddaughter to start baking at 2 a.m. on Saturday, whipping up around 200 pies for the weekend. “It’s a lot of fun,” Mr. Blake said of the weekend. “There are a lot of wonderful people,” he added.

beehive float
Sweet as honey: Felix Neck campers ready parade float. — Ivy Ashe

“We’re expecting to be really busy,” Debbie Raymond, a manager at Up-Island Cronig’s, said. “Our employees are working like crazy to get the shelves in order . . . it’s going to be zooey this weekend.”

Jody Drake, baker at Morning Glory Farm, said she has 135 orders for pies for Sunday alone. Morning Glory is open until noon on Sunday.

Nancy Gardella at the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce said the economic tides are slowly beginning to turn for the Vineyard. “There’s a celebratory feel and excitement in the air,” she said earlier this week. “Hopefully businesses will realize there’s tremendous prosperity.”

The Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown is one of those businesses profiting from the holiday. Jim Cleary, general manager at the Harbor View, said they were completely sold out for Saturday and Sunday. “We’re ahead throughout the summer at this point,” he said of the season numbers so far. “In the immediate days after the Fourth, we have a lull, but we’re ahead of that lull compared to last year,” he added.

“We’re looking forward to having a great weekend,” Ezra Sherman, owner of Sweet E’s Cupcakes on South Water street, said optimistically of his store’s first July Fourth in Edgartown. Mr. Sherman said there will be a red, white, and blue theme this weekend for his treats, including blueberry pie stuffed cupcakes.

The British are coming, the British are coming!, a phrase often heard during the Fourth of July, has become a reality at the “fabulously British” Jack Wills store just down the street from Sweet E’s, but this time no lanterns were hung to warn Americans of their arrival.

“I’m quite excited to experience . . . something that’s so important to America,” Alan Ward, a British employee at the new store said. “It’s another great day I can experience American culture.”

“I hope people recognize it’s a patriotic day, and that we try to maintain it [as such],” Mr. Morgan said, but most of all, “we hope people enjoy it.”