Across the Island preparations have begun for Halloween. Pumpkins have been carved, costumes made, and Wiet Bacheller has begun preparing 1,200 baggies of fortune cookies to hand out to trick-or-treaters.

Since 1976, Mrs. Bacheller has lived on William street in Vineyard Haven, the nucleus for Halloween activity on the Island. She remembers when there were only about 50 kids who would come and knock on her door. Now there are over 1,000.

Vineyard Haven in general, and William street in particular, grew in popularity as a Halloween destination because of the density of the neighborhood, selectman Melinda Loberg said.

“It’s nice that everyone can do their trick-or-treating on a few streets and not drive long distances or go to empty houses,” she said.

For Mrs. Bacheller and her husband John, both retired teachers, Halloween can be both delightful and overwhelming. They love seeing former students and children of former students dressed up, but would prefer not to have candy wrappers littering the street. Being the hub of Halloween isn’t always easy for residents of William street. The streets are shut down to traffic, buying enough candy becomes expensive and trash is left behind on sidewalks and in bushes.

After last year’s festivities, talk of candy donations began on social media, aimed at lessening the burden on the residents. Though the business association offered to collect candy donations, ultimately the residents declined to solicit donations, focusing more on shorter hours and a swift clean up.

A group of residents got together this year and asked the town for a reprieve. Police agreed to shorten the hours that William street and surrounding streets are closed to traffic from five hours to three hours, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The town has also promised that the department of public works will come through the neighborhood the following morning to pick up any trash.

Mrs. Loberg said the town is dedicated to supporting those who carry the burden of Halloween and has been actively listening to concerns. “The town is all in, the ambulance is all in, the town hall has been decorated and has their candy supply ready,” she said.

While William street might be the most talked about, all of Vineyard Haven gets in on the Halloween excitement. All weekend long, there are scavenger hunts, hayrides and games set up by town businesses, and on Oct. 31 there is a mini-parade down Main street from 4 to 4:15 p.m. Churches in town open their doors and the Vineyard Playhouse will host a Halloween Haven, with cider and coffee or just a place to rest weary legs with some costumed actors.

Elaine Barse, vice president of the Vineyard Haven Business Association, said the whole town gets in on the action without over commercializing the holiday.

“Halloween is really fun here, it’s still very homegrown and small town charm sort of thing,” she said.

And with window decorations, carved pumpkins lining walkways and so many homes participating, it’s not surprising much of the Island migrates toward Tisbury on Halloween.

“It’s the one night you see three generations walking together,” said Mrs. Bacheller. “They are unplugged from their electronic devices and having a great time.”