Last year, due to COVID concerns, the annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration was scaled way back. This weekend, visitors will once again be able to enjoy almost all of the traditional events, sales, and activities that make the yearly celebration so special.
Edgartown Board of Trade executive director Erin Ready promises that the parade will be the best one ever. And there are even a few new events. Although the annual Chowder Contest has been shelved for the meantime, owing to the crowded nature of the event, a special Sunday lineup should prove a nice new addition to the festivities, especially since it’s all about the dogs,
From 11 am to noon, pet owners can register for the Holiday Dog Show at the Mini Park. Then pooches dressed in their festive finest will strut their stuff around town with the winner announced later in the day. According to the Christmas in Edgartown website, “Sparkle, shine, costumes, and cheer are strongly recommended.” The contest is sponsored by Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting and will benefit the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard.
From 10 am to 2 pm, you can stop by the Edgartown Commons Hotel for the Santy Paws Fair. There will be gifts for pets and pet lovers as well as activities. The fair is a benefit for Sandy Paws, an organization dedicated to finding loving homes for dogs. To learn more, visit sandypawsmv.com.
Animals of another sort will be the focus of a popular event returning this year with extended dates. Teddies Around Town, sponsored by Point B Realty, is a fun self-guided scavenger hunt for kids and families. You can follow the riddles to find bears hidden in businesses around town and receive a prize. The suggested donation of $5 per participant is earmarked for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club and their After School Program.
There are many other ways you can give back to community organizations during the festivities.
Make your holiday gift shopping count by stopping by one of a number of benefit gift sales. Every year the staff and volunteers for Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard turn the Daniel Fischer House into a festive holiday shop stuffed with handmade goods donated by members of the community. You can expect to find just a little bit of everything from original artwork, to jewelry, needlepoint, hand-sewn and hand-knitted clothes, toys and decorations. And there are always plenty of baked goods, candies, jams and jellies. The items are priced to suit any budget and all proceeds go directly to the care of patients and their families, which are always provided without cost.
According to the website for Hospice of M.V., its mission is “to provide quality hospice and bereavement services without charge to all who are facing serious illness, grief, and death. We provide personalized care at home, the hospital or extended care facilities and meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our patients and their families.”
Please contact Laurie Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-693-0189 if you have items you wish to donate.
Two other annual events will benefit Island schools. On Saturday the Edgartown School will once again host the annual Christmas in Edgartown Art and Crafts Festival featuring work by local artists and craftspeople to benefit the Edgartown School Class of 2022.
On Saturday, you can also stop by the Federated Church for the Annual Elves Faire, featuring gingerbread house decorating, take home holiday craft kits, soup from Mo’s lunch and a retail table with children’s books and gifts. Proceeds are earmarked for the Plum Hill School, a preschool program inspired by Waldorf education “emphasizing imaginative play and reverent, joyful engagement with the natural world.”
A number of businesses around town are sponsoring sales and events to benefit local charities. The Black Dog is offering two ways to make a difference. Stop by to get a gift wrapped and your donation will go towards the M.V. Animal Shelter. Or you can buy a Black Dog blanket and they will donate one to the shelter.
Past and Presents will also support the animal shelter with a sale of a wide selection of bags filled with toys and treats for dogs or cats. All proceeds from the bags go to the organization whose mission is “to provide shelter, health care, love and support to the Island’s domestic animals until a permanent home is found.”
Of course there is always a huge array of events — from carriage rides to cooking classes to cocktail parties to the annual Minnesingers concerts, but one of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit is to give something back to the community.
One of the easiest things you can do is donate a gift to the Red Stocking Fund at the Edgartown Police Department’s annual Stuff-a-Bus event. On Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm you can stop by the Lower Main Street parking lot and donate a new unwrapped item to the cause.
Red Stocking cannot accept electronic gifts. Most requested items include Legos, action figures, baby dolls, sports equipment and bikes. If you can’t make it to Christmas in Edgartown, donations can be dropped off at the police department.