It is approximately 471 strides, done at a leisurely saunter, from the steps of the Harbor View Hotel to the steps of the Edgartown Lighthouse. While this may seem like useless trivia, it is actually a Christmas in Edgartown public service announcement.
Say, for example, after too many rum toddies sipped while standing on the hotel porch Friday night, one is overcome with holiday good cheer and feels an intense need to view the 6 p.m. lighting of the lighthouse close up. It would be good to know what is required of this mad dash. Whether the children will need to be summoned to carry an exhausted Dad back to the Teddy Bear Suite, held in room 201 at the hotel — 17 stairs up, another 10 strides to the right — also makes for good planning.
It may take more or less strides to get back downstairs depending on how one feels about encountering three six-foot tall bears and their hundreds of furry offspring — running in horror or settling in for the night.
After a free 10-minute massage in the Chilmark room — 23 strides away from the bear suite — one might be inclined to take a horse and wagon ride to Main street for more festivities. The rides are from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, and are sure to be cozy.
And yet who is to say how many canters or gallops it will take to get there? By foot you can be sure. Main street lies exactly 847 strides away. But more strides may be needed for detours along the way. At the corner of Water and Daggett streets it is but 148 strides to the Chappy Ferry. On Saturday and Sunday there will be Cape Pogue sleigh rides leaving from the other side. No strides will be needed on the ferry ride. Just stand still and enjoy the view.
Murdick’s Fudge sits 73 strides from Main street. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. they are holding an open house and a fudge fuel stop could come in handy. From the corner of Water and Main streets it is another 263 strides to the Old Whaling Church, the site of numerous Christmas in Edgartown activities. The Dr. Daniel Fisher House holds an open house from 4:30 to 7:30 on Friday night and the Minnesingers perform at 8 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday in the main hall.
You cannot put a number on the amount of strides it takes to sing so beautifully at such a young age, but it is sure to be quite high. Last spring the Minnesingers performed in Croatia, after all.
Not another stride need be taken to reach Handmade from the Heart, a gift bazaar to benefit Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, also taking place at the Daniel Fisher House. And it will take just a few strides to get out the door and watch the parade march by, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Perhaps a marcher will report back the number of strides the parade route requires. At press time the number was still unknown.
If inclined to take a pause from the activities at the Whaling Church it will require 275 strides to reach St. Andrew’s Church where the Plum Hill School Elves Faire takes root from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and the church open house is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nearly equal in distance is the 262 strides needed to reach the Martha’s Vineyard Museum to witness a jewelry jingle sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or play historic games at 10 a.m.
But perhaps all this striding is starting to wear thin. Well then it’s just 116 strides to Edgartown Cinemas where this weekend, in additional to its regular features, the theatre is screening two children’s movies for the price of just one canned food item each to donate to the Island Food Pantry. Polar Express is on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. and Home Alone is on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. How many strides McCauley Culkin has taken backwards since his auspicious debut is debatable. Also in question is whether his latest venture, a Velvet Underground tribute band (not a movie), is a stride forward, backward or otherwise.
Down the street at the Mini Park — just 72 strides away — is the Great Chowder Contest from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. An $8 entry fee benefits the Red Stocking Fund, and also one’s stamina. The day is still young and there may be miles to go before you sleep. The Bah Humbug Walking Tour begins at 3 p.m. back at the Whaling Church and is guaranteed to require numerous ill-humored Scroogy strides.
This striding could go on for, well, three days. This is but a handful of the offerings. The festivities begin on Friday and keep going through Sunday. But the legs have weakened and icy conditions are now creating varying stride lengths. Inexact measurements cannot be condoned. Perhaps then it is time to sit back with a highlighter and begin marking all the events to visit. For a full list, visit edgartownboardoftrade.com.