Memorial Day began on the Island as per tradition in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven, where volunteers gathered in the early morning to set up the Avenue of Flags to honor those who have been killed in wars. The flags will come down at sunset today.

The events continue today when the Memorial Day parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. today from the American Legion Post 257 on Martin Road in Vineyard Haven and proceeds to the Avenue of Flags. Refreshments will be served at the Legion Hall after the parade’s return from the cemetery.

At noon, the annual Memorial Day picnic begins at Tashmoo Waterworks at 400 West Spring street in Vineyard Haven. The event features live music, games and free ice cream provided by the town of Tisbury. Food will not be provided but grills we be on-site.

Memorial Day march begins at 10:30 and will conclude at the Avenue of the Flags. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The weekend started with another solemn tribute on Friday, when children from the elementary schools participated in the annual March to the Sea, throwing flowers into the harbors. Principal John Custer of the Tisbury School participated in the event when he was a child and now presides over it at his school.

“I marched in this back in 1976 as a kindergartner,” Mr. Custer said on Friday. “When you turn from Spring street onto Main street and you see some of the same people waving from the same spot, that’s when it all hits me. It’s just a wonderful tradition.”

The beaches and towns will also be busy today. But perhaps nowhere will be busier than the port town harbors as the day concludes. Car reservations on departing ferries are booked solid, and the Island will empty out once again for a brief respite before the full impact of summer begins.