The sky was a gloomy gray, but Main street in Edgartown was aglow with holiday cheer for its annual Christmas parade.

Before the parade began, carolers sang Oh Little Town of Bethlehem outside the Old Whaling Church. Mannequins dressed in holiday garb decorated storefronts, while some merchants displayed their goods under tents in the Mini Park.

And when the parade arrived on Main street onlookers who had huddled under awnings to protect themselves from the rain emerged, carving out spots at the edge of the sidewalk to see the procession.

Rise dancers had the spirit. — Ray Ewing

An Edgartown police car led the way. A young boy in a Santa hat rode in the passenger seat, yelling out a hearty “Merry Christmas!” to the crowd over the cruiser’s PA system. Children and parents alike echoed the refrain.

“I have a family now, and it’s always been a highlight of bringing my kids down here,” said Erin Ready, executive director of the Edgartown Board of Trade. “Seeing Santa and the magic behind that through kids’ eyes is really spectacular.”

Along the parade route, the Rise dancers pranced along, dancing to Jingle Bell Rock. A giant teddy bear was propped up in the passenger seat of a car from Point B Realty, organizers of the annual Teddy Bear Suite. A caravan of small donkeys pulled along Mrs. Klaus. Frosty the Snowman shared high-fives with people in the crowd.

“Yeah, thank you!” Frosty said to a youngster in a stroller after they high-fived.

Erin Ready, Edgartown Board of Trade executive director, and family. — Ray Ewing

As per tradition, Santa brought up the rear, bidding the crowd adieu. The light rain, which trickled down for much of the morning, held off during the parade. A mist arrived once the parade finished but didn’t seem to bother anyone. Some ducked into stores, but many milled about outside. The line for hot chocolate from Murdick’s spilled out onto North Water street.

“That was good, they did a good job,” a passerby said.

The smiling faces of many in the crowd suggested agreement.

Another highlight of the annual Christmas in Edgartown festivities were a pair of Minnesingers concerts held at the Old Whaling Church, the high school choral groups return to a full program performed on stage for the first time after a pandemic hiatus.

Minnesingers performed a pair of concerts at the Old Whaling Church — Mark Alan Lovewell

Seating was limited to four per pew at the shows due to Covid precautions. On Friday night Nevette Previd of the Vineyard Preservation Trust, which owns the historic church, introduced the show, telling the audience that the elite high school chorus first performed there 30 years ago — and that one of the singers back then was Abigail Chandler, now the group’s director.

Half a dozen or so Minnesingers alumni joined the 30-member choir onstage at the end of the evening, singing a boogie-woogie arrangement of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

Other highlights of the concert included a radiant solo by soprano Delilah Hammerlund on Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, which Ms. Chandler said the Minnesingers will sing in Salzburg — where it was composed — during their planned April, 2022 Austrian tour.

The choir also sang in Hebrew, as well as Latin and English, and audience members joined in on a series of sing-along Christmas carols sprinkled throughout the program.

Shows included alumni joining the group at the end of the program. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Accompanying the group, pianist Nancy Rogers had some reinforcements from Island music teachers including Brian Weiland on bass and percussion, Katie Cademortori on flute and Rebecca Laird on violin, among other string teachers. String students Lorraine Barros, Cassidy Kirchenbaum and Tayna Silva also joined the ensemble for John Rutter’s A Gaelic Blessing. Ray Fallon, the high school’s new band teacher, played trumpet on the Hallelujah Chorus, with Mr. Weiland on timpani.

After their Christmas in Edgartown concerts and winter break, many of the Minnesingers will be back on stage in February as the high school presents its annual musical at the Performing Arts center on Campus. The 2022 show is Les Misérables.

Christmas in Edgartown festivities continued on Sunday, and holiday fairs and events were staged around the Island all weekend.

At the old town hall in Aquinnah, a holiday artisans’ fair featured 18 artists selling goods that reflected the town’s history and its Wampanoag heritage and culture.

Icons typically associated with the holiday season such as poinsettia and Santa were barely visible. Instead, browsers made a circular loop around tables featuring wampum and shell jewelery, cards handmade from paper, pottery and books about the history of indigenous people and plant science across the United States. Necklaces and earrings made by Berta Giles Welch from abalone, lapis, quahaug shell and mother of pearl shimmered as sunlight hit her table. Next to her, Kristina Hook shared her family history by printing her father’s vintage black and white photos of the Gay Head Lighthouse onto ornaments and mugs. Across the way, Donald Widdiss talked about the wampum bracelets and carved figures he makes. Shoppers also chose from a variety of silkscreened T-shirts, tea towels embroidered with Vineyard animals or images, and hand-knitted hats and scarves.

Hungry shoppers were well fed. Juli Vanderhoop, who owns the Orange Peel Bakery, set up shop with spiced lentil stew as well as boxes of spiced nuts, jars of honey, chutney and applesauce, cinnamon-dusted challah twists and boxes of holiday cookies. Outside town hall, the crew from Goldie’s Rotisserie sold items ranging from French onion hot dogs, chicken soup, hot chocolate, to a special wintertime granola mix. As people munched outdoors on the town hall lawn, they raised their faces to the sun and smiled.

Elizabeth Bennett contributed reporting.

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