Some wore high heels, some wore cutoffs and others arrived in their bathing suits for the first Dock Dance of the season Tuesday night.

The Dock Dance Band (made up of John Stanwood, Jamie Greene, Alex Karalekas, Niko Ewing, Adam Petkus and Rose Guerin) returned to their old stomping ground to open the season and play for a packed Memorial Wharf crowd. The band opened around 7 p.m. and within an hour crowds of young people began gathering, with all Edgartown roads seemingly leading to the wharf.

Always time for a selfie. — Ray Ewing

Bystanders couldn’t help but get wrapped up in the cyclone of people and sound, with fishermen putting down their rods to clap along to the music.

The Dock Dance tradition dates back to the 1960s when it was originated by local band The Bodes. For some years, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish took up the mantle, and today the Dock Dance Band is the main headliner.

Front man Adam Petkus sang old favorites like Ooh La La by Faces and newer titles such as Sedona by Houndmouth. Every number received the same level of unbridled, fist-pumping enthusiasm from the crowd.

Rose Guerin lets it rip. — Ray Ewing

Friends Kelly Gibson, Ellie Stevenson and Sadie Bartletta were on the scene, enjoying the tunes and the evening breeze. As seasonal residents, Ms. Stevenson and Ms. Bartletta grew up dancing at the Memorial Wharf shows. Ms. Gibson was experiencing the ritual for the first time.

“I don’t know the songs, but I’m having a good time,” Ms. Gibson laughed.

Candy Nichols has been coming to Dock Dance since its very first opening night in the 60s. In more recent years, she watched the Dock Dance Band adopt the moniker of the very event they were playing at.

John Stanwood and Niko Ewing speak a musical language. — Ray Ewing

She said she’s seen the Dock Dance crowd start to skew younger over the years — most of the crowd on Tuesday consisted of high school and college students. But what has endured, she said, is the event’s joyful spirit and ability to connect people of all ages, backgrounds and musical dispositions.

“I’ve been coming since the beginning,” she said. “You see all kinds of people.”

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