Post Office Square in Oak Bluffs lit up for the Christmas season Wednesday night.

Vineyard Brass Ensemble sets the festive tone. — Steve Myrick

Children and adults alike donned reindeer antlers and gathered outside, clasping Styrofoam cups of hot chocolate topped with swirls of whipped cream. The Vineyard Brass Ensemble played Hark! The Herald Angels Sing to open the festivities, the rich notes of the trombones and trumpets rising into the chilled air with the steam from the hot cocoa. In the (Saint) nick of time, the afternoon’s rainstorms stopped, leaving only puddles to jump in and drips from the eves to dodge.

The Oak Bluffs Association sponsored the event. Executive director Christine Todd handed out reindeer antlers while directing people to stash donated canned goods in wicker baskets. The non-perishable items were collect to support the food pantry.

This was the first time the annual tree lighting festivities were held completely outdoors, Ms. Todd said.

“Bringing everyone together, it’s just so old fashioned,” she said. “I love that it’s multi generational.”

Here comes Santa Claus. — Steve Myrick

Less than a half hour into the festivities she had nearly depleted her stock of antlers, having handed out around 150 headbands.

A plump tree stood proudly in the center of Post Office Square, and after a community countdown, a switch was flipped and the tree lit up with candy-colored lights amid cheers from the crowd. A migration began towards Offshore Ale, where the Brian Weiland band played outside, fronted by a guitar wrapped in Christmas lights.

Kids were singing the lines to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when a siren blared down Kennebec avenue. The crowd parted to let Oak Bluffs fire department’s Engine One roll through with Santa waving out the window. Santa disembarked to spread holiday cheer as the band continue to play.

Festivities in Oak Bluffs are set to continue through Dec. 21, with a holiday open market and puppet parade planned for Saturday.