It was a claustrophobe's nightmare and a hungry man's dream at the 37th annual Tisbury Street Fair on Sunday night.
Main street was a living river of people, with a strong current pushing crowds in both directions along the car-less street lined with food stalls and vendors selling their wares.
While the adults perused artwork and shopped for bargains, the kids wove through human traffic at a run, wielding glowing necklaces like whips and flinging "bang-snaps" at the ground.
The Tisbury firemen grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and dished out strawberry shortcake, while Mocha Mott's mixed up iced mochas with whipped cream and Table in Tuscany - the boyfriend-girlfriend baker duo - sold their cookies and breads. Several other food stands sold everything from sausages to raw oysters to fried dough.
At the uppermost end of the street fair, it was the Medeiros family's 20th year selling lobster rolls. Experts at estimating the public appetite, their lobster rolls sold out at quarter past nine - 15 minutes shy of closing time. Gayla Medeiros guessed they sold at least 800 lobster rolls.
Family matriarch Cora Medeiros noted that of the four women who began the street fair in 1971 to celebrate the town's 300th anniversary, "there's only two of us left" - she and Darlene Pachico. The late Shirley K. Frisch and Joan Montamat were also among the original organizers.
Sisters Gayla Medeiros and Kathy Rogers now run the lobster roll show with the help of several other family members - some of whom come from off-Island - making the annual event feel as much like a family holiday as a town one.
It was the first time selling at the Tisbury Street Fair for Table in Tuscany, which sells its baked goods at the West Tisbury Farmers' Market on Wednesdays.
"This is our first summer operating," said Danielle Mastrangelo, 22. "We bake in our residential kitchen. It's just my boyfriend and myself."
She and Craig Cetrulo, 28, met at the Chilmark Road Race two years ago. She beat him by three minutes. Two or three minutes, he counters. No, it was three minutes, she concludes.
"We've both lived in Italy," Ms. Mastrangelo explained, noting that the olive oil in her focaccia breads came from the first press of the olives she helped harvest on her host family's farm in Tuscany. "We both just really love to cook. We're hoping to expand this and do dinner parties."
Some fairgoers danced off their dinner calories to the live music of Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, the a capella group Vineyard Sound and a large ensemble of young musicians who had no official name.
The musicians, who played instruments including banjos, guitars, Irish drums, mandolins, flutes and pianos, hailed from Messianic communes in Plymouth, Boston and New York called Twelve Tribes.
"We have 12 tribes geographically located over the world," Elihu Jones explained while his friend Derush Yadon passed out a free newsletter titled We Need a Radical Change.
Artists abounded at the street fair as well.
Husband-wife artist team Warren V. Gaines and Debra Gaines shared a booth near Vineyard Scoops, selling Mrs. Gaines's Island photography and Mr. Gaines's pastels and note cards. It was Mrs. Gaines's eighth year selling at the street fair and Mr. Gaines third since he took up pastels after taking a class with artist Ellen McCluskey one winter. The two also share a booth at the Vineyard Artisans' Festival in West Tisbury and the Chilmark Flea Market.
Kandace Sylvia, a 2006 graduate of Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, was selling her Vineyard-themed photography to earn money to attend McIntosh College in New Hampshire. She will be starting her second year there in September to pursue an associate's degree in photography.
Friends and West Tisbury summer residents Dylan Murray and Kay Sunakawa also shared a booth near the Green Room clothing store. Ms. Sunakawa was selling the jewelry she designs and handmakes under the name of Cherry Blossom Creations. Mr. Murray was selling his photography - a mix of traditional and infrared photographs printed on canvas. The two share a booth at the Chilmark Flea Market as well.
Of his sales for the evening, Mr. Murray remarked, "Definitely better than the flea market."