Christmas in Edgartown
A chowder contest, a parade, a treasure hunt for children, holiday shopping -just a sampling of what to expect during the 28th Annual Christmas in Edgartown, a three-day holiday celebration that kicks off Friday, December 11. There will be about 50 events going on between Friday night and Sunday. Saturday morning, 10 am, begins with the Christmas Parade that brings Santa to town on the Edgartown Fire Engine.
Christmas in Edgartown chairman Janice Wooden promises this year's festivities will be better than ever. "I've been on the Edgartown Board of Trade committee for about four years - my second year as chairperson - and by all accounts, this year is going to be better than ever. We're scheduled to have over 30 participants in the parade."
The lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, which signals the beginning of Christmas in Edgartown, the Fishbowl Discount Shopping and Dining, a Wine & Cheese Party at the Edgartown National Bank, a Live Nativity Performance, The Minnesingers at the Old Whaling Church and the Holiday Soiree at the Preservation Trust Daniel Fisher House are all part of the annual a three-day celebration.
The Chowder Contest, which benefits the Red Stocking Fund, will have a larger tent this year and is always a big draw. Ms. Wooden says, "There is a great group of contestants. The public gets to vote on their favorite chowder. We have to thank all of our sponsors, especially all the participants and those who give their time that makes it such a great weekend."
The important thing about Christmas in Edgartown, apart from the celebration and commerce that's involved, is that the majority of the events are free, and most of the events that have anything resembling an admission-fee-of-sorts will benefit different Island organizations:
Photos with Santa at Past & Presents Antique and Gift Store benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Martha's Vineyard; Handmade from the Heart at the Daniel Fisher House benefits Hospice; the Elves Faire at the Federated Church benefits the Plum Hill School; A Breakfast with Santa at the Wharf benefits the Jim Lambert Memorial Scholarship Fund; and a Silent Auction benefits The Edgartown Council on Aging.
Then there are bake sales, craft sales and hot cocoa stands lining the streets, generously set up by local organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, and Brownie Troops. Edgartown's inns and churches will open their doors open for anyone who'd like to visit.
I Love Shopping in Edgartown's Christmas raffle includes the donations of merchandise and certificates from many of the shops and restaurants. For every $25 spent in Edgartown, you get a chance to win.
And there's the music. In addition to The Minnesingers performance, members of the Contemporary Music Center will perform at the Harbor View Hotel on Friday night, Ballywho will play Saturday in town, and the Kent Riley Group will perform in the Mini Park tent on Saturday afternoon.
Ms. Wooden is quick to give credit to the members of her team. "If not for my committee, none of this could happen," she says, mentioning Dee Lander, Jane Norton, Alex Zullo, Janice Donaroma, Pastor Jeff Winter, Joan Dunayer, Kayla Leonard, and Rebecca Blu.
"Every one of them put an amazing amount of time and effort into the planning. Though it sounds cliché to say, it truly is a team effort. We all have jobs and are involved in other events, committees and have families, so it's real dedication to give our time," she says, "But we all do it with great enthusiasm."
Thinking ahead, Ms. Wooden says, "I want to make sure Christmas comes to Edgartown. Edgartown is a wonderful, beautiful, scenic town, and Christmas in Edgartown is magical, old town tradition." And she adds, "Just pray for good weather."
Christmas in Edgartown begins tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 11, and continues through Sunday, Dec.13. For more information and a schedule of events, go to edgartownboardoftrade.com