This year the emphasis for Christmas in Edgartown is still on good cheer but with a healthy does of safety, too.

Erin Ready, executive director of the Edgartown Board of Trade, said the board’s number one priority is to keep in mind the health of the Island community while simultaneously keeping Edgartown businesses safe and open for business.

“It’s a magically, modified holiday celebration,” Ms. Ready said.

The 39th annual holiday festival in downtown Edgartown runs from Dec. 10 to 13.

“We are keeping the title Christmas in Edgartown alive and well in the hopes that our community remembers that our businesses are open and they spend and shop locally this season,” Ms. Ready said.

Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse takes place Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. — Ray Ewing

The lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse will take place Friday evening at 6 p.m. But this year there are no designated viewing spots as people are encouraged to choose locations that are at a safe distance from others.

Many events have been canceled or modified but the spirit of the season is still apparent. At Ethos, a new store that opened in July, owner Claudia Tolay has had a reindeer and sleigh on her roof along with countless other holiday decorations since the day after Thanksgiving.

“I love, love Christmas and we really needed it, especially this year,” Ms. Tolay said.

This weekend Ms. Tolay and her staff will be dressed like elves and will have a place in the store designated for children to write letters to Santa.

“We wanted to focus more on the community and the kids,” Ms. Tolay said. She also has an official Santa stamp for proper postage to the North Pole and return letters from Santa for parents to give to their children.

Many events have been modified but stores are open. — Ray Ewing

“They don’t need to buy stuff from us, this is for everyone,” Ms. Tolay said.

A holiday dog show will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mini Park.

“Hopefully the dogs come by in their holiday gear, maybe dressed up like a reindeer, people do get pretty creative,” said Trish Lyman, manager of the Boneyard Surf Shop, one of the businesses sponsoring the dog show.

Also on Saturday, the Edgartown Police Patrolman’s Association’s stuff-a-bus toy drive for the Red Stocking Fund is returning for its fourth year. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Edgartown officers will be in the parking lot at the bottom of Main street in front of the Atlantic Restaurant with a holiday-themed VTA bus to collect toys for Island kids in need.

“I feel like every year it’s gotten bigger,” said Edgartown officer Zach Townes, who coordinates the effort.

Officer Townes said they cannot accept electronic gifts like tablets and video games but some of the most requested items include books, Legos, baby dolls, bikes, sports equipment and action figures. In previous years, Officer Townes said they have completely loaded the bus to capacity. He hopes to achieve that feat again this year.

“When you do events like this and you’re talking with the public, seeing people face to face, it really helps you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing,” he said. “It seems like we help a lot of families and we’re lucky to be able to do that.”

For a full list of events visit