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Christmas in Edgartown Weekend

When it comes to holly and jolly, the North Pole has nothing on this island of ours. On the second weekend of December, the holiday cheer-o-meter goes through the roof for the annual Christmas in Edgartown festival, with elves and snowmen parading down the streets and string lights aglow from Main Street to Edgartown Light. We know how easy it is to get turned around amid all the yuletide excitement — so make the most of it by taking a tip or two from some longtime festival-goers (that would be yours truly, of course).

 

Edgartown Light set aglow during Christmas in Edgartown weekend.
Photo:  Massachusetts Office of Tourism & Travel / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0.

 

Seasonal Sights To Keep From Slipping By

The weekend sees a lengthy lineup of holiday happenings from caroling to craft fairs, and as tempting as they all seem, you don’t want to schedule too much for yourself. Some of the seasonal sights we’d put in the “must-see” column include the Lighthouse Lighting on Friday night, the ever-exciting (and stupendously savory) Annual Great Chowder Contest, and the Arts & Crafts Festival, a gathering of over 30 island artists — a must if your holiday getaway includes the kiddos.

 

You also don’t want to miss your chance at a horse-drawn carriage ride — take it from us, the main ingredient to real holiday magic is casting a mesmerized gaze upon Edgartown’s light-strewn buildings and pine trees, backdropped by the rhythmic clopping of a stallion.

 

Greatest Angle To See The Lighthouse Light Up

On Martha’s Vineyard, we go way beyond decking the halls to kick off Christmas in Edgartown. Thousands gather to see our favorite seafaring structure, Edgartown Light, illuminate in bright reds and whites for our island version of a tree lighting. If you’re wondering which spot will grant you the greatest view, we recommend coming in from the beach trail right off North Water Street (it’s just a half-mile seaside stroll from our doors, so you can pass on the problematic parking situation). Head there early, around 3:00 p.m., to get a leg-up on the crowds — there’ll be plenty of cookies, hot chocolate, and holiday tunes to keep you warm and entertained.

 

Not feeling like joining the crowd for the up-close lighting experience? View it from a distance atop the Memorial Wharf on the waterfront — it’s a popular perch year-round, made even better when you can witness the lights switch on.

 

How to Feast on Festive Fare

For Christmas in Edgartown, it’s safe to assume that island restaurants will be bringing their A-game in both seasonal flavors and decor — so it’s also safe to assume that there will be some seat-savin’ competition. Always refer to the schedule of events to see if any area eateries are offering festive treats to eat on-the-go. Otherwise, we recommend setting your sights on a place to eat and putting your name on the list early on in the day. That way, you can partake in the festivities without a giant question mark hovering over dinner plans.

 

Hy-Line’s Santa-Approved Special Service

It’s no reindeer-led sleigh ride, but we’d place Hy-Line’s special service for Christmas in Edgartown a close second on the leaderboard of festive holiday transports. This service to Martha’s Vineyard was first rolled out in 2017 — in a rare off-season opportunity, you can cruise directly to Edgartown from Hyannis on any day of Christmas in Edgartown weekend.

 

Embracing The Holiday Spirit At Your Hotel

Before stuffing your stockings, stuff that suitcase full of holiday cheer during Christmas in Edgartown. The big weekend is just the beginning of a holly, jolly season around these parts — stick close to it all by making Vineyard Square your home for the almost-holidays. Not only will you keep close to all the holiday hustle and bustle, you’ll get to embrace the spirit with a crew as festive as you are (we’re a Scrooge-free zone).

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Out with the rowdy — in with the awesome! Bachelorette parties don’t need to be a one-size-fits all affair. Embrace the era of the alternative bachelorette party and give yourself (or your friend) a celebration that honors their individuality (before they become a pair). Give singledom a grand farewell with these unique bachelorette party ideas on Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Unique Bachelorette party ideas on Martha's Vineyard

 

Unique Bachelorette Party Ideas For (Almost) Every Type Of Bride

For the craft beer loving bachelorette:

The ocean isn’t the only place to find foam on the island. Martha’s Vineyard’s craft beer scene has been on the upswing in the past few years, making it a perfect unique bachelorette party idea for any craft beer loving brides. Spend a day outside at Bad Martha’s Beer where you can soak up the sun while trying their flagship brew, Martha’s Vineyard Ale. For the hungry beer drinker, make the trip to Offshore Ale in Oak Bluffs for some crisp beers and pub fare.

 

Unique bachelorette party ideas - shoppingFor the shopaholic:

Trade in the chain stores for adorable boutiques with this unique bachelorette party idea. The quiet streets of Edgartown are famous for their offbeat selections ranging for antique jewelry to locally published books. Pick out a one-of-a-kind vacation frock at our neighbor Mikel Hunter or hunt down a local artwork to hang on the newly married couple’s walls.

 

For the over stressed bachelorette:

Between crossing people off her guest list to coordinating her bridesmaids, it’s quite possible that the guest of honor may be a tad overstressed. Luckily, if you’re looking for unique bachelorette party ideas, Martha’s Vineyard happens to be a haven of serenity, filled with calm beaches to stroll on and quiet towns to explore. Sea Spa Salon, located at the Square, offers thai massages, mani/pedis, and spa treatments give provide your party with a bit of pampering. If she needs an extra shot of relaxation, book a wellness weekend at the Square, so she can cleanse her body with meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet.

 

Biking at Vineyard Square HotelFor the athletic types:

A destination for hikers, bikers, and swimmers alike, Martha’s Vineyard’s nearly 100 square miles of land offer plenty of adventure. Take some bikes out for an all-day excursion and stop at a beach to toast the bride-to-be. If the bachelorette is a water lover, hop aboard Mad Max for a sailing excursion across the island. You can take one of their daily cruises or charter a private trip.

 

For the sleepover enthusiast:

In our opinion, the best part of any girls’ getaway, bachelorette party or otherwise, is getting to reconnect and bond with friends. Stay in one of our luxury suites as a group, and have an old school sleepover complete with popcorn, manicures, and a nostalgic movie. While this may not be the most raucous of our unique bachelorette party ideas, it’s certainly the coziest.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

It’s almost that time of year again—Christmas is right around the corner and with it comes one of our favorite events of the year: Christmas in Edgartown. While spending the holidays on the Vineyard is always a delight, this weekend-long, seasonal festival offers something extra special. From twinkling lights to holiday music to Saint Nick himself, attendants will find endless ways to get into the Christmas spirit. To us, these five holly, jolly events make Christmas in Edgartown the can’t-miss romp of the holiday season.

 

Edgartown Lighthouse During Christmas In Edgartown
Photo: Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

 

Christmas Tree Art Display

What would a Christmas celebration be without Christmas trees? Local art groups from across the island decorate the trees, which you will see on display all weekend long. Wander through this veritable forest of Christmas trees with your family (don’t be afraid to borrow some ideas for your tree at home). As with most of the events at Christmas in Edgartown, these trees are decorated with charity in mind—the trees from the festival will be donated to families in need.

 

Local Arts and Crafts Fair

Christmas in Edgartown At Vineyard Square Hotel & SuitesBring home Vineyard made products for the holidays this year—it’s easy to find unique gifts at the Local Arts and Crafts Fair. Located in the Chappy Room of the Kelly House (right across the street from the Square!), this fair features local gifts and hand-made items from artisans from around the island. You never know what gems you may find! Bring the whole family and spend the afternoon meeting these craft makers and finding your next favorite Martha’s Vineyard souvenir.

 

Deal, Deals, Deals at Edgartown’s Best Stores

If you’re looking to shop til you drop, Christmas in Edgartown is the place for you. Many of the stores in downtown Edgartown hold special sales or donate part of their proceeds to charitable organizations. Great stores like Hannah B., Vintage Jewelry, and Backwater Trading Co. offer discounts up to 50% off. If that wasn’t tempting enough, you can warm up with hot apple cider and warm cookies in many of these stores while you shop for the perfect cold weather ensemble.

 

Lighting of the Lighthouse

During Christmas in Edgartown, our town’s beloved lighthouse gets a holiday makeover. Head out to the shore on Friday night and get ready to countdown to the Annual Lighting of the Lighthouse. Cookies and hot chocolate will be in abundance and holiday music will be ringing out over the water. Just be sure to bundle up! This Christmas in Edgartown event marks the start to our Christmas festivities so put on your Santa hats, stock up on candy canes and come down to the water for this magical occasion.

 

Christmas in Edgartown Parade

The highlight of the weekend is undoubtedly the annual Christmas in Edgartown Parade. On the Saturday morning of the festival, locals and visitors alike gather along the streets of Edgartown to watch this holiday spectacle (if they’re not in the parade themselves!). Santa hats are passed out through the crowd, and the candy thrown from the parade floats gets everyone in the holiday spirit. You and your children will delight in the teddy bears, alpaca, elves, and angels passing by, not to mention appearances of classic Christmas characters like Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, and of course, Santa Claus himself.

 

If you’re thinking of kicking off the holiday season in Martha’s Vineyard with Christmas in Edgartown, imagine spending your evenings cozying up to a warm fire in your room at Vineyard Square, right in the heart of Edgartown. We’ll have something special going on during Christmas in Edgartown, too — keep an eye on Facebook for all the details.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Christmas in Edgartown was last weekend and we were really getting in the spirit…here are some of the highlights!

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Jim, our grumbly but lovable maintenance guy claims he’s a bah-humbug scrooge but he always does a wonderful job of getting us in the spirit with his outdoor lights – I think he excelled himself this year with this beautiful tree of lights in the courtyard of the Colonial Inn!

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This is a picture of Martha’s Vineyard’s most famous ‘Christmas House’.  Every fall, this display starts taking shape in time for a Thankgiving night unveiling of Santa’s Workshop.  The Gatchell family take great pride in this display and I challenge you to find a family of any denomination who don’t stop by and admire the lights on County Road in Oak Bluffs every year.  They collect donations for the Island Food Pantry every night and on Christmas Eve, even Santa and Mrs Claus stop by to greet all the children getting a last look at the lights before Santa jumps on his sleigh to deliver all his gifts.

Mobile Uploads 141-resized-600The Colonial Inn lobby is all decked out with ribbons (tartan of course – guess who chose those?!) and beautiful Poinsettas.

We enjoy welcoming guests at this time of year and getting into the spirit with the parade and fun.  This year there was pizza baking in the courtyard from Stonekrazy Pizza and music in the Eisenhauer Gallery on Saturday afternoon. A portion of the proceeds went to help the Red Stocking Fund. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the day – of course a good weather day helped with sunshine and mild temps in the high 40’s.

Santa rode into town, not on his usual conveyance but on a Fire Truck…

Santa

Elf and DanielAnd elves were roaming everywhere, warning kids to be good, for goodness sakes.  We’re not sure that Santa will believe the Tshirt that CJ’s son Daniel is wearing in this photo (Santa – I was framed!) but he’s so cute and takes such good care of his sister Jamie (she’s the cutie in the pic below with Santa), that we’re sure Santa has something good in store for him!

Santa was at Donaroma’s meeting all the kids and admiring the beautiful displays – maybe he even picked up a tree for the North Pole from their beautiful selection or made a wreath at their annual Wreath Making Workshop.

Jamie and SantaIt’s never too early to make plans for next year’s Christmas in Edgartown, so call us for availability and rates on 800-627-4701.

We hope that you all have a wonderful holiday.  Remember that we are open year round and still have some availability for Christmas and New Years…Or maybe you’ll need a little re-charge after all the chaos of the season?

What do you do (or where do you go) to get into the spirit of the season?

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

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It is the Holiday Season again, and with Thanksgiving behind us, the next big event on Martha’s Vineyard is “Christmas in Edgartown”.

Let me say up front that I am…less than enthusiastic, shall we say…of the Christmas season. I have an incredible dislike of commercial jingles, (did they start in mid-October this year? Curses…), smarmy holiday TV specials infuriate me and flamboyant decorating drives me nuts. I like a holiday of quiet reflection in keeping with my faith; I enjoy quality time with family without all the madness of shopping and messages of greed that assault us. I never achieve this, so I become a GrinchTM.

I know where this comes from. My mother is a very religious woman and every year, she vows to organize herself with her holiday crafts and gift ideas well beforetime and every year plans more than she can possibly accomplish. She wants so much to have a quiet holiday that every misstep in the schedule causes frustration and anxiety. Therefore, she cancels it.

From when I was maybe eight or nine years old until…well…two or three years ago, actually, my Mom cancels Christmas. All of Christmas, mind you. No half measures here. Dinners, cookies, trees lights, gifts…you name it, she’s done with it. This starts anywhere from the end of September and last until two days before Christmas. We always HAVE Christmas, but the three months of ranting cancellations have perpetually dampened my Holiday Cheer.

Genetically, I tend toward this pattern, but I have an almost two-year old girl-baby. She loves Christmas. The photo shows her at the Wharf Pub last year at the Breakfast with Santa event. She doesn’t look very enthused about it, but THIS year…well, from talking with her, she’s ready this time. (Video evidence of this years trip to the Christmas Loft store tends to make me doubt this claim…but we will see!)

(If your browser won’t display this video, click here to open a new window.)

Kate’s enthusiasm for Christmas this year and participating in last Christmas in Edgartown events last year are slowly chipping away at my Fortress of Grinchitude.

Edgartown is beautiful in so many ways, throughout the entire year, but during the ‘Christmas’ weekend December 11th – 13th, the town becomes truly magical.

The Edgartown Board of Trade organizes the weekends schedule the weekend, and posts aCalendar of Events. So many Inns and shops participate that there are very few places where there is no sparkly-wonderment to be found.

The excitement for that weekend is evident. Reservations requests for available Suites to rent for that weekend have been coming for months. The Edgartown Residence Club is participating in the Inns of Edgartown Tour on Friday and Saturday from 2-4PM.

From the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse to hayrides from Main Street to the end of Water Street, there are free events that are great fun for all ages. (Even I enjoyed seeing Santa cruise into town on a fire engine during the Saturday morning parade down Main Street.)

Several events, like the Felix Neck gingerbread cookie decorating or Donaroma’s wreath making workshop, have a fee charged for the cost of the materials.

Some events have entry fees that support the organization’s event. The Minniesinger’s concerts on Friday and Saturday are a longstanding tradition on the island, and the kids put a lot of hard work into each production. A Holiday Soiree at the Daniel Fisher House benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

For those of you who are bold advocates of a particular charitable organization now is your chance to call the shots! All you have to do is win the 4th Annual Cookie Tasting event at Espresso Love. The event proceeds go to the winner’s choice.

The Dickens Village display at the Point Way Inn from 11AM to 5PM and the Faith Community Church’s Live Nativity on the steps of the Old Whaling Church on Saturday will immerse passersby in scenes of Christmas tradition.

There is too much going on that weekend to pass it by.

My GrinchyTM heart may not end up two sizes too small that weekend.

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown