Ty Arieta, two and a half, meets Santa at the Kelley House as his mother Alexa looks on. — Alison L. Mead

When the bells of the Old Whaling Church clock chimed 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, anticipation was high in downtown Edgartown for the 34th annual Christmas parade. Police sirens sounded in the distance as a large crowd of parade-goers gathered on Main street to enjoy unseasonably warm weather and await the procession of floats.

The Rise Dance Troupe kicked things off with a dance routine to Jingle Bell Rock, followed by familiar floats representing community organizations and local businesses.

A shark, a whale, two alpaca, three horses and countless dogs participated in the parade, and there were even goats on a float, representing the Farm Institute. The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, Elf on the Shelf, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, angels and shepherds shook hands, gave hugs and threw candy to the crowd as they passed by.

Rise Dance Troupe jingle bell rocks down Main street. — Alison L. Mead

Finally, the wait was over and Santa arrived atop the big red Edgartown fire truck, smiling and waving to kids both young and young at heart.

It was the warmest parade day most could remember, with attendees trading heavy coats and mittens for vests, shorts, and, course, Santa hats.

“This by far is the biggest year, “ said Edgartown police Sgt. Michael Gazaille, who has worked the parade for the past 25 years. “It’s like 65 degrees...people want to come out and play.”

The Martha's Vineyard Sharks heads down Main street. — Alison L. Mead

After the parade, Santa made his way to the Kelley House to listen to Christmas wishes. On the way he stopped to chat with two-year-old Avery Romano.

“He’s good at giving presents,” was Avery’s assessment after their visit.

Inside the Kelley House, two-and-half-year-old Ty Arieta told Santa “I want a fire truck!” but was happy enough to receive a little stuffed moose for now.

Here comes Santa on the fire engine. — Alison L. Mead

Up the street, DJ Shizz spun pop hits as kids danced outside Vineyard Square Hotel. Across the street, lines formed at Murdick’s Fudge, which promised “The World’s Best Hot Chocolate.”

There was plenty of community spirit to be had as well. Behind the Kelley House, a long line formed on Dock street as parade-goers waited to enter the new location for the annual Great Chowder Contest, which raises money for the Red Stocking Fund.

Little elves gathered at the Port Hunter to make candles and gingerbread houses and have their faces as part of the Elves Fair and Silent Auction which benefited the Plum Hill School.

Teyha Backmus-Clement and Katie Ogden raise money for Animal Shelter of Martha's Vineyard. — Alison L. Mead

And a small band of fourth grade girls played musical instruments and tap danced in the Mini Park to raise money for the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard.

Christmas in Edgartown festivities continue throughout the weekend. There will be breakfast with Santa at the Wharf Pub from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday morning followed by an Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt at local businesses from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a carol sing at Federated Church at 2 p.m. and the Rise Holiday Dance Show at the high school performing arts center at 6 p.m., among other festive events.

More photos of Christmas in Edgartown.