Now in its 37th year, the Christmas in Edgartown weekend-long celebration gets bigger every year. This time around, a few new events have been added, some popular ones have been relocated, and there are now more ways for off-Island visitors to make the trip over. Both the Hy-Line out of Hyannis and the Sea Streak from New Bedford have added trips to Edgartown to help more off-Island people join in the festivities.
There will be more than 100 different events and activities this year, according to Erin Ready, executive director of the Edgartown Board of Trade, the organization that hosts the celebration.
The festivities will kick off early, on Thursday, Dec. 6, with specials and refreshments offered at downtown stores and late-night shopping at many local businesses, including Backwater Trading, which will be offering drinks and featuring ugly sweaters. Shop from 5 to 8 pm.
The Martha’s Vineyard Bank will sponsor a screening at Edgartown Cinemas of the new Hallmark movie “A Godwink Christmas.” The movie is based on a story in the book of the same title by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, and was inspired by the true love story of Gery and Paula Conover, owners of the Charlotte Inn in Edgartown.
With the Harbor View Hotel closed for winter renovations, some of the traditional Christmas in Edgartown activities have moved temporarily. The popular Teddy Bear Suite, featuring hundreds of teddy bear friends, will be open all weekend, from Thursday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 9, at 17 Winter St. in Nevin Square. The Teddy Bear Trot will also depart from there on Sunday. The race starts at 9:45 am.
One of the featured events is the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse. That will take place on Friday at 6 pm, with the viewing spot now at Memorial Wharf. Festivities will include a sing-along with carolers and other activities.
The centerpiece event, the Great Red Stocking Fund Chowder Contest, will take place at the Anchors parking lot on Saturday from 12 to 2 pm. More than a dozen chefs and restaurants will be there for the title of best clam chowder or seafood chowder.
Another favorite returning this year is Donaroma’s spectacle of lights and decorations. This year’s theme is the 12 Days of Christmas. It’ll be open Friday and Saturday at 5 pm.
The celebration will close on Sunday afternoon with special holiday events — a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Carnegie at 1 pm, followed by an Old Fashioned Carol Sing at the Federated Church at 2 pm.
Every year, through the various events, Christmas in Edgartown helps raise over $50,000 for Island-wide charities and nonprofits.