Traditionally William street in Vineyard Haven is the epicenter on Halloween night for trick-or-treaters, with streets closed off and thousands of kids going door to door.

This year it will be more receptive to tumbleweeds than ghostly costumes.

“William street is pretty much shut down,” Tisbury selectman Jeff Kristal said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Residents are turning off their lights to discourage trick-or-treating and encouraging homeowners to give the money they would usually spend on candy to the food bank.

Boo - times three. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Town hall in Vineyard Haven will also be closed on Halloween night, town administrator Jay Grande said at the meeting, as will the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, another popular gathering place.

Towns around the Island have adopted similar stances, looking to discourage trick-or-treating and large gatherings, while also trying to come up with creative solutions to keep some fun in the popular holiday.

Island libraries are stepping up to fill in the void on Saturday. The Edgartown Library will have a trick or treat grab bag available for kids from noon to 4 p.m., and the West Tisbury Library will have a Halloween drive-through from 3 to 5 p.m. The Oak Bluffs Public Library offers a curbside goodie bag from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oak Bluffs is also hosting a costumed scavenger hunt on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. with over 20 Circuit avenue businesses participating. North Tisbury Farm donated supplies to the Oak Bluffs Business Association for a photo opportunity in Post Office Square.

Erin Tiernan, co-owner of Basics Clothing, said the association to create the backdrop so families “can take a picture of their kids, costumed or not, around hay bales and pumpkins.”

Beware the pumpkin king. — Ray Ewing

West Tisbury has canceled its annual Halloween party at the Agricultural Hall, while in Chilmark fire chief Jeremy Bradshaw said his department is outfitting the fire station with spooky decorations and hosting a haunted drive-through for Chilmark kids from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Chief Bradshaw said there will also be a photo opportunity at the station after families brave their way through the haunted utility terrain vehicle bay.

In Edgartown, the Board of Trade is partnering with Rosebud Kids for a spooky story walk through downtown on Saturday. Children and their parents can walk through town in costume as they read The Ghosts Go Marching by Maria Modugno starting with the first page at Rosebud Kids and finishing at the Edgartown Town Hall.

Erin Ready, executive director of the board of trade, said the board felt like the story walk “was low-key, 2020 friendly and appropriate for everyone’s comfort level.”

The day before, on Oct. 30, the Edgartown police department will create a “reverse Halloween” where officers bring bags of pre-packaged treats to the doors of Edgartown residents.

Sgt. William Bishop, vice president of the Edgartown patrolman’s association, said the idea came out of brainstorming session looking for ways to provide for Island families during Halloween.

Dress up for the farmers' market on Saturday - if you dare. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“Maybe parents aren’t as comfortable sending their kids out to go trick-or-treating, so we wanted to fill that void for kids and make sure they still have a Halloween treat and a positive interaction with the police,” Sergeant Bishop said.

Interested residents should send an email to to be added to the drop-off list. The last day to register is Thursday, Oct. 29.

And for anyone, young or old, in the market for a bit of fright with their morning coffee and produce shopping, the West Tisbury farmer’s market is encouraging customers to come in costume this Saturday. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Agricultural Hall grounds.