What you need to know to celebrate the Fourth in Edgartown


The Vineyard’s Fourth of July weekend festivities include the Edgartown parade and fireworks. Expect plenty of patriotic favorites and amusing floats.

The parade kicks off at 5 pm Sunday from the Edgartown School and proceeds to Main Street and along Pease’s Point Way out to the Harbor View Hotel and down North Water Street.

The parade returns along North Water Street and back up Main Street, past the historic Old Whaling Church where floats will be judged, and then back to the school.

Around 4 pm, Edgartown police will begin closing Main and Cooke Streets near Cannonball Park, heading into town, as well as the areas near Edgartown School and the north side of town along the parade route. At Chase Road, cars will be directed onto Pinehurst Road to provide parade-goers access to upper Main Street.

“We just ask people to park legally and not block any roads, so that we can get emergency vehicles through,” Edgartown police detective Craig Edwards said.

Since parking will be limited, Edgartown police recommend taking Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) buses and using the VTA’s free shuttle service from the park-and-ride lot near the triangle.

VTA buses and the park-and-ride shuttle will drop passengers off in front of the Dukes County jail before the parade, and by the Mobil Station at the head of Cannon Ball Park during the parade.

During the fireworks, VTA buses to Oak Bluffs and Tisbury will resume service on Church Street and in-town shuttles will pick up and drop off on North Water Street in front of Mad Martha’s. Taxicabs will be staged in the same general area.

Handicap parking is available before 4 pm at the Edgartown Yacht Club parking lot, if a handicap permit is shown to the officers stationed at the corner of Water Street and Main Street. Detective Edwards said other handicap parking spots would be available and those who need them should ask police officers stationed at intersections for direction.

The official celebration ends with a bang over Edgartown harbor, as fireworks light up the night sky beginning shortly after dusk, at approximately 9 pm. The fireworks will be fired from a barge moored off the Edgartown lighthouse. Almost any spot along the Edgartown waterfront will offer a good view of the display.

During the fireworks, there will be no parking and no vehicle access to North Water Street. The Chappy ferry will continue to operate, with access provided on Simpson Lane.

The rain date is July 5.

The Edgartown selectmen put on the parade. The fireworks are funded in part by Edgartown voters and by the Edgartown Board of Trade, according to board chairman Maggie White.