The summer of 2018 kicked off with the Best of the Vineyard Party, a joyous pep rally for all the hard-working business owners and employees just before the arrival of the season of plenty. It was a moment to celebrate, take a deep breath and say to other year-rounders, see you again in September.

As all manner of colorful floats and vintage cars lined up for the Edgartown Fourth of July Parade, selectmen’s assistant Kristy Rose took her customary position in the center of things, daintily directing traffic with her trademark parasol aloft. Families packed the parade route in a raucous throng of red, white and blue.

And as the temperatures rose, the sun continued to bounce any and all rain clouds back to the mainland leading to the opening of outdoor shower valves and the first dumping out of the car floor rug full of sand. There were the mountains of steamers cooked over an ancient Weber grill on the beach and shells of same pitched into the surf.

For the angling tribe there was a long list of highlights and hopes for the next two months. The first striper, the first keeper, the big one that got away and the big one that didn’t. Repeat for bluefish, bonito, albie. The monster scup! The Goliath tog!

The fundraisers followed, ones that felt like parties and parties that felt like fundraisers — a succession of familiar events under tents including Taste of the Vineyard, Meals in the Meadow, Water Tasting By the Sea, Evening Under the Stars and Possible Dreams.

And there was more, so much more.

An audience of kayakers and other small boats watched Jaws while bobbing on the water near Owen Park, a new experience thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, who this summer chose even more creative ways to show movies in the community. During the show a large fin cut through the surface of the waves but caused more laughs than screams as it turned out to be Chick Stapleton, owner of Island Spirit Kayaks, having a bit of fun.

The Martha’s Vineyard Concert Series returned for its third year with a program of music that brought audiences at the Performing Arts Center and Old Whaling Church to their feet. The tejano big band sound of the Mavericks even had the whole PAC dancing in the aisles and on stage after lead singer Raul Malo admonished the front row for staying seated and gave the back rows free reign to enjoy the show ringside. Toots Hibbert and his reggae-pumping Maytals had the PAC audience on their feet once again.

Mavis Staples showed that 79 is the new 29, as she performed a long, energetic set of music that stretched back to her childhood singing with her father Pops Staples and walking side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. on the way to Selma.

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse was in full throttle, putting on Passionata, Angela’s Mixtape and opening this week Chilmark, as well as filling the Tisbury Amphitheater for the Fabulists and Hamlet.

But savvy theatre enthusiasts also knew to visit Greenwood avenue, the home of Camp Jabberwocky which put on Sister Act in July and The Princess Bride in August. Campers and counselors broke hearts throughout the audiences with their energy and joy.

For enlightenment, there were lectures and readings almost daily by authors, journalists, historians, economists, social scientists and poets, sponsored by the Hebrew Center, the Book Festival’s Speaker Series, the Island’s libraries and others. Artists opened their studios and galleries held receptions to introduce new talent.

To beat the heat, many headed to the Ice Arena for the return of Le Patin Libre, the ice skating dance troupe out of Montreal brought here once again by the Yard. In darkness they glided over the ice, the only sound their skates cutting through the ice as the audience sat on chairs and blankets directly on the ice for the show.

And as per usual Middle Road was packed on the second Saturday in August for the 41st Chilmark Road Race. The day was muggy but not overly warm as generations came together in the spirit of pounding the pavement.

Bill Clinton returned to the Vineyard to talk fiction, and Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., former publisher of the New York Times, came to talk facts. Henry Louis Gates Jr. set the mood for his annual Hutchins Forum with a tribute to Aretha Franklin, while Valerie Jarrett shared the story of how she first met the Obamas, while also nudging former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to hit the campaign trail again, this time for President.

The list could continue for those inclined to mix and mingle after a day of work or vacation, but it is time now to turn to the Jaws Bridge where some young children jumped for the first time, finally finding enough bravery to soar with the legions of bridge jumpers who came before them. And what of sunrise swims at coves and ponds and breaking through the waves before others had even thought of stirring from their beds? Or sunsets beheld and s’mores snacked by campfire?

A Vineyard summer encompasses it all, including teary goodbyes between grandparent and grandchild at the ferry terminal. And now school or work, a gap year or something even more mysterious beckons as it always does when August prepares for its final bow.

But fear not. The tomatoes are still lush, the corn near shoulder high, the water temperature remains deep in the 70s and September beckons with its own bountiful harvest, one that doles out rewards in a much more leisurely fashion.