Downtown Edgartown was packed tight Saturday with Islanders, visitors and their pet companions dolled up in holiday garb for the 42nd annual Christmas in Edgartown festival. 

From artisan markets to wine tasting, horse-drawn carriage rides to costume competitions, festivities stretched through the streets from day until night. But what garnered the largest and most spirited crowd was the Christmas in Edgartown parade, filled with carolers, candy-tossers, and Santa Clauses. 

“We’ve all been coming and watching this parade for over 20 years, and this was one of the best parades we’ve seen,” said Chappaquiddick resident Joanne Brine, who attended the parade with her friends and family. 

From left to right, Julie Duffy, Gillian Connors and Maura Farden. — Ray Ewing

Ms. Brine took an early ferry into Edgartown Saturday morning to ensure she secured her go-to parade-watching spot — the corner of Main and North Water streets — where she can get a perfect view of the procession rolling into town.

“We know a lot of people in the parade, and at this point they know that we stand there and everybody always waves,” she said. “And I loved that this year it didn’t feel as commercial as in the past. There were so many kids and animals, it was just really well done.” 

For Riley Mannar, 5, and her brother Logan Mannar, 7, the parade was the first of many sugar-filled events they had on their festival agenda. After leaving the parade with pockets full of Tootsie Rolls and slices of fudge, they were off to find cups of hot chocolate and cookies to bake and decorate. 

“My favorite part is when they throw candy at us,” said Logan. “And now I think we’re going to make some peanut butter blossom [cookies].”

Others hunting for some post-parade lunch made their way into the Edgartown Village Market Holiday Faire, where crêpiers from The Hungry Farmer were whipping up sweet and savory crepes for their long line of patrons.

Ben Waldrop, co-owner of the eatery, said that the crew planned its Holiday Faire station like it was a busy summer day. 

“I’d say we’ll go through about 100 to 150 crepes on a day in the summer, and we’re expecting about that today,” he said. “We didn’t actually get to see [the parade] this year because we were busy here prepping for the rush.”

The bustling festival was, in many ways, reminiscent of summer, said Lauren Evans, a part-time Vineyard Haven resident who spends most of the winter months in Medfield. Christmas in Edgartown weekend is her family’s one exception. 

Enchanted Chocolates hands out some sweets. — Ray Ewing

After the parade, the family hopped in line for the Teddy Bear Suite at the Faraway Hotel — one of their favorite festival activities. Ms. Evans’ son, Nico Evans, 7, was particularly fond of a 4-foot-tall bear perched on a couch in a suite corner. 

“Yeah, I think that one’s my favorite, too,” said his dad, Traeger di Pietro, as Nico pointed to the bear. “It’s the perfect size.” 

The Christmas in Edgartown festival runs through Sunday, Dec. 10. For a complete list of events, visit

More parade pictures.

More Christmas in Edgartown pictures.