For the past 20-plus years Bob Falkenburg has been a smiling face at the busy downtown Oak Bluffs information booth, greeting visitors from places both far flung and close to home.

But at 93, he decided this year to retire from his town duties.

Inside the booth one last time, Mr. Falkenburg with his friend John Newsom. — Mark Alan Lovewell

On Saturday Mr. Falkenburg was honored by the Oak Bluffs Association with a small retirement ceremony at his familiar post at the foot of Circuit avenue. Renee Balter, Christine Todd and John Newsom presented Mr. Falkenburg with a certificate of appreciation, along with a gift certificate to Linda Jean’s and a framed picture of himself and two friends in front of the information booth.

After receiving his tokens of appreciation, everyone in the crowd waited their turn to thank Mr. Falkenburg. Many smiles and laughs were shared on the doorstep of the booth as Mr. Falkenburg locked up for the final time.

He first came to the Vineyard in 1962 when his father bought a cottage in the Camp Ground.

About 20 years ago he and his wife Jodi moved to the same cottage to live on the Vineyard year-round. They have three children, and share many fond memories of family summers on the Island, including trips to Moshup Beach Aquinnah.

But the Camp Ground is where Mr. Falkenburg and his wife are deeply rooted. For many years they have acted as grand marshals of the Fourth of July children’s parade, leading a colorful procession of children, adults and dogs, on bicycles, in wagons and on foot, all properly adorned in red, white, and blue.

Grand marshal of the July Fourth Camp Ground children's parade. — Jeanna Shepard

In 2007 he and his wife lit the first lantern at Grand Illumination, the traditional August event in the Camp Ground that will not be held this year due to the pandemic.

Before moving to the Vineyard year-round, Mr. Falkenburg worked summers at the Camp Ground Museum in the lantern room where paper lanterns and other novelties were sold.

He said he began working at the information booth because he enjoyed people.

“It was such fun talking to all these folks, they come from everywhere. I thought it was a fun job, I enjoyed it,” he said.

But due to the pandemic, he decided this summer would be the right time for a change.

“I said to myself with this crazy thing going on in the world, nobody knows what they’re doing or where they’re going with it,” he said Saturday after the small ceremony. He continued:

“They say it’s something especially bad for people over 65, and here I am, 93. So I said I’m going to step away and now I’m footloose and fancy-free.”

Now Mr. Falkenburg looks forward to projects at home, including painting, fixing ceilings and adding a water heater that a neighbor offered for $10.

“It’s just a pleasure, we love it,” he said.