At the end of a Fourth of July celebration that spread across every corner of the Island from sunup to sundown, people and cheer filled the streets from Robinson Road to North Water street in the annual tradition of the Edgartown parade.

Color guard makes traditional salute in front of Edgartown courthouse. — Ray Ewing

Police officer Nicholas Phelps stood on detail in front of the Old Whaling Church, maintaining the peace of the festivities. From his spot slightly outside the hullabaloo of the parade, he was able to observe the many people that drift in and out of the celebration.

“There’s all different walks of life here,” said Officer Phelps. “And it really makes you feel American the way everyone can come together.”

Hours before the parade was set to begin, Fabiola Powell set up her chair at the corner of Main and Summer streets. “This shade, can’t beat it. I’ve been coming to this parade for about 15 years with my aunt, Patricia.”

Madeline Munn was born on the Island, and has never missed an Edgartown Fourth of July. Neither have her children. “My kids are over 50 now and they’ve been to every one.”

In keeping with tradition Ms. Munn’s daughter Kim Garrison was present. “We brought my 16 month old, and I was just saying to my husband, where else in the U.S is Fourth of July still like this?”

Kids, floats and plenty of red white and blue. — Ray Ewing

With representatives from Rhode Island, Virginia, California, and Texas, all unified in the commemoration of their country’s independence, it seemed as though Officer Phelps was correct in his observation.

On a warm, summery day with heat and humidity building, the parade stepped off from the Edgartown School, where a fleet of decorated floats poured into the street amid applause and celebration from Islanders and non-Islanders alike.

The procession this year was led by grand marshal Joe Sollitto, the recently retired superior court clerk. The Fourth of July is one of the only times Mr. Sollitto can be found without a bow tie. Instead he donned his U.S. Marine Corps uniform.

“It was actually Ted Morgan who told me to put on my uniform, must have been around 2013 when I took over the parade from him,” Mr. Sollitto said.

This year the Edgartown parade went on without Ted Morgan, the beloved Edgartown selectman and decorated World War II veteran who was parade grand marshal for longer than anyone could remember until Mr. Sollitto took over.

Mr. Morgan’s World War II uniform hung from a golf cart driven in Mr. Sollitto’s procession.

Striking VTA drivers left the picket line to join the parade. — Ray Ewing

Also in the mix were floats of the Vineyard Haven Band, which has filled the parade with the sound of brass for longer than most members can remember. The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard held up signs: “Vote Freedom Depends on You.” And Vineyard Transit Authority bus drivers left the picket line to spread the word of their current strike via Fiat convertible.

Yet despite the unity of the procession, the dividing chasm that has spread across the heart of America in the last few years hung in the air with a hushed resonance.

“The country is kind of torn right now, it’s hard to ignore,” said a retired secret service agent who asked not to be named. “But I am proud of the country, and we have to be hopeful moving forward.”

Toward the back of the procession was a golf cart, hung with flags of all different countries and banner that read Vineyard Peace Council. Despite the global reach of the mission statement, that being world peace, the local effort was led by the Grant, Cassidy and Hayes families. “Well if the whole world is at peace, I hope it starts with us,” said Mike Cassidy, a leading member of the council. “And if we aren’t capable of being the leader, I hope we can find someone else to follow.”

More pictures.