Tisbury, Oak Bluffs postpone Halloween events

Madison Curelli, left, 9, and Leya LaBell, 3, hold hands while trick-or-treating in Vineyard Haven last year. This year's parade has been postponed. — Gabrielle Mannino

Updated Oct. 30

With a storm in the forecast that’s expected to have powerful winds for Thursday night, the Tisbury board of selectmen postponed a Halloween event at the request of the Vineyard Haven Business Association.

Instead, Main Street will be closed on Saturday from 3 to 4 pm for the Halloween parade, with trick-or-treating at the businesses afterward. Other street closures will also take effect on Saturday. From 4:30 to 9 pm, William Street will be closed from Spring Street to Woodlawn Avenue, and Center Street from Main Street to Franklin Street.

“It’s going to be a dark and stormy night for Halloween,” selectmen chair Melinda Loberg said. And while that might add to the haunting atmosphere, it’s not ideal for parents with young children in tow, and their safety.

“We can make a recommendation that everyone postpone trick-or-treating until Saturday night,” selectman Jim Rogers said.

Harbormaster John Crocker confirmed for the board that the forecast calls for 40 mph winds Thursday, and even stronger on Friday. “It’s going to be nasty,” he said.

Selectman Jeff Kristal said he hopes parents heed the warnings and trick-or-treaters stay home on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Tisbury said its Haunted Town Hall won’t move forward at all.

Nearby William Street is a popular spot for Islanders to trick-or-treat. Last year, one address had 1,124 kids show up, according to Paul Doherty’s Letter to the Editor.

Doherty wrote in an email Tuesday that he’s not able to welcome trick-or-treaters on Saturday night because of previous plans. He’s not sure what his neighbors will do. “I think it’s the right thing to do,” he wrote of the town’s plans.

Meanwhile, Oak Bluffs Police issued a press release postponing road closures for trick-or-treating until Saturday. “This decision was made to err on the side of caution for safety reasons,” the release states. “We will be notifying schools and putting this out on several social media sites.”

Enter Martha’s Vineyard Museum, with a last-minute open house. “We want to save Halloween,” Katy Fuller, operations manager, said. The museum will be open from 5 to 7 pm for trick-or-treating, Fuller said. “Kids can show up in costumes, there will be candy and likely a scavenger hunt.”

Another option for youngsters in costume is the Halloween Haven at MV Playhouse in Vineyard Haven. The Playhouse is still holding its event from 5 to 8 pm, MJ Munafo wrote in an email to The times. “We were unable to reschedule [Halloween Haven] to Saturday night since we have a performance of ‘Our Town’ that night,” she wrote.

The towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, West Tisbury, and Edgartown all told The Times it’s business as usual in those towns for Halloween.

Updated to add Oak Bluffs’ rescheduling of Halloween events, and open house at M.V. Museum and the Haunted Haven at the Playhouse.



  1. Kids, here are some scary costume suggestions for the parade:

    – Chief of Police Ripping Up Constitution
    – Cop Drinking Coffee
    – Harbor Master with Design Drawings for Fire-fighting Boat
    – Lead Paint Chips
    – Asbestos Tile
    – Classroom Trailer
    – Inept Elected Official (Your Choice)

    • Yes! This could be done easily. A Pee Wee Herman costume with a badge. Keep in mind that the constitution could easily be substituted for the union contract as obviously that piece of literature is arbitrary as well.

  2. What? I get canceling the parade but moving the whole holiday? Halloween is October 31st. For those 500 families who come to our house for Trick or Treating we are sticking with tomorrow! Rain or shine!

    • No one is “Moving the whole holiday”, just a few events that require town resources. Why is this so difficult for people to understand?

  3. All kids are welcome to come to 97 Williams Street on Saturday, where we’ll be dressed as pirates and handing out soft serve ice cream cones!!! Chocolate, vanilla or a twist. Parents are welcome to enjoy a cone, too!!! We hope to see you there 🙂

    • oh boy, a Pastafarian Halloween.. ( pirates are the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s chosen people you know …)

        • jonah– I fully support your efforts and in no way am I criticizing you… just reminding people of the presence of our creator.
          Hope everyone has a great time… Thanks for your hard work getting it all together.

  4. Well done OB and VH. Now let’s work on having Edgartown move the Christmas parade to the High School Gym. So many children are exposed to chilly conditions watching the parade each year. Come to think of it why don’t we move all the Christmas in Edgartown activities to May.

  5. In other official Tisbury news, they have moved the annual town meeting to April Fools Eve. How utterly fitting is this?!

  6. It’s clear to me now that Selectman Kristal cancelled / delayed Halloween because he doesn’t like kids. He has said this repeatedly throughout his tenure and it’s been documented in the MVTimes. Sorry kids.

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