Four suntanned Little Leaguers in dirty Vineyard uniforms made their way through the Tisbury Street Fair on Saturday evening. The nine-year-olds had just returned on the ferry after an off-Island doubleheader and were homeward bound. The fair just happened to be on the way, and served as a perfect welcome home party.

The fair was a homecoming for others too who made it their prime destination. Started in 1971 to commemorate the town’s third centennial, the annual event is a place for Islanders and visitors to take time out to mix and mingle during the busy days of summer.

Ten-year old Tisbury resident Tanya Silva, who has been attending the event her whole life, said her favorite part of the fair is reuniting with her friends and seeing her teachers there.

Who needs the beach when the street fair is in town. — Mark Lovewell

Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel, accompanied by his dog Lily, felt similarly. “It’s fun also to walk around and run into different folks that maybe you haven’t seen in a while,” he said.

Simone Davis, a student at the regional high school, lives within walking distance of the fair and called it a mainstay of her summers. Accompanied by four of her friends, she likes to attend, “just to see everything, catch up, especially since it’s summer and I don’t see my friends as much.”

The girls were eating fried dough out of a brown paper bag. They had purchased it from the Good Shepherd Parish’s stand, which did a brisk business through the duration of the event. All along Main street, the air was heavy with the scent of fried food and barbecue. The Tisbury Firefighters Association, the beneficiaries of this year’s street fair, had lines stretching down the block for its burgers and hot dogs.

Fittingly, the funds raised at the celebration of the town’s 346th year will help preserve part of the town’s and fire department’s history. On Wednesday, the association will purchase the Legion Fire Company’s 1947 LaFrance fire truck. The Legion Fire Company was founded in 1919 by World War I veterans and was eventually incorporated into the Tisbury Fire Department. The 1947 LaFrance, called the Legion Pumper, was purchased by World War II veterans and used by the Legion until 1978, when it was sold to the Centerville-Osterville Fire Department.

Where there's smoke there's firemen - Tisbury Firefighters Association is on the job. — Mark Lovewell

Tisbury firefighter Darren Welch said the department will use the Legion Pumper in parades, adding that they ultimately hope to build a museum, of which the truck will serve as the centerpiece.

“We’re a proud truck, and we like our history, and we try to hold onto it the best we can,” said Mr. Welch. “Most of us are sons and grandsons of that truck. At one time you couldn’t be on this truck if you weren’t a veteran.”

Other Island organizations, including Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, We Stand Together, Connect to End Violence, Martha’s Vineyard Democrats and Tisbury EMS conducted community outreach through their stalls. A ferret held down the fort for Martha’s Vineyard community radio station WVVY 96.7.

Main street stores opened their doors to crowds. Some also took to the streets, bringing their wares outside for customers to browse. TownPool, a new shop on the block, hosted games and contests, including corn hole and a pie eating competition. Inside, fairgoers combed through racks of summer apparel. The store was photo-op ready, complete with a space in which furniture was suspended sideways from a wall and a polka-dot covered vestibule that seemed to take its inspiration from Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room.

Everyone gets in on the act. — Mark Lovewell

Another recent addition, Mikado Asian Bistro, opened on Saturday and after a full day of business operated a stall at the fair. The restaurant served spring rolls, fried dumplings, egg rolls and sushi to the masses.

Owner Xi Yu said that with all the action of the first day, he didn’t even have a moment to tabulate how much business they had done.

Revelers danced in the street to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. Jonas Cain, a self-titled Meta-Magician, entertained kids with his illusions. One child was particularly perplexed when Mr. Cain produced a lemon from a previously empty cup. Island Cove Adventures set up a rock wall on Union street for the youngsters.

Nearby, First Baptist Church sold cotton candy in two flavors: hot pink and neon blue. One girl stared transfixed by kids climbing the rock wall, so much so that her sister ate bite after bite of her unattended wispy treat. The sky seemed to echo the scene, with pink-tinged cotton ball clouds hovering above. In the near distance, a ferry sounded its horn.

Happy birthday, Tisbury.

More street fair pictures.