Strollers, shoppers and out-for-Sunday-brunchers had Circuit avenue and the lower half of Kennebec in Oak Bluffs all to themselves Sunday afternoon, in the first of what is planned as a weekly summer-long street closure to vehicles.

Required masks became part of the theme. — Tim Johnson

The town will close all of Circuit and part of Kennebec to vehicle traffic on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for pedestrians to wander and enjoy the salt air.

Proposed by town business owners and approved by the Oak Bluffs selectmen last week, the first Sunday street closure fell on Father’s Day. It was billed as the MV Masquerade — with a banner encouraging everyone to wear masks.

Racks of clothing lined the street, ice cream stores beckoned customers on a hot, sunny day, and nearly every restaurant had tables set up for outdoor dining. Masks — required while wandering the street — became decorative scarfs for people dining out.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” said Adam Rebello, owner of Dilly’s Taqueria, which is operating out of the Ritz Cafe this summer.

“Right off the bat we had tables coming in, I think every restaurant up and down the street is trying to figure it out. I can see this evolving into something very special,” Mr. Rebello said.

The selectmen unanimously voted in favor of the closure last Friday in an effort to aid downtown businesses hurting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Christine Todd, president of the Oak Bluffs Association and Larkin Stallings, owner of the Ritz Cafe, brought the proposal before the board.

On Sunday Ryan Shamrock, who comes to the Island every summer with his family from Rhode Island, said he was a little hesitant this year but felt comfortable coming knowing Island towns were taking measures to keep everyone safe.

“I hope they continue to open it up for the businesses. We realized that everyone has to make it through the summer to make it through the winter, so this is a great thing that they’re doing,” Mr. Shamrock said

Dhaniany Almeida, owner of Soul Summer and Company, a new clothing store, enjoyed the shade beneath the tree in front of her store.

“I think this is going to help us a lot. I can’t complain, I have a lot of new people coming in and I love it. I think it’s a great idea,” she said.

“We’ve got to be innovative, a new generation is coming to town,” Mr. Rebello said. He concluded:

“The town spearheaded this project and did a great job. I think this is a great kickoff, I feel like they’ve accommodated every business as much as they could.”