Berlin, Md. Goes All Out for the Holidays
On Friday, Nov. 27, Berlin will hold their annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Arts Night beginning at 5:30 p.m, tree lighting at 7:30 p.m in front of the Atlantic Hotel. The event takes place downtown and includes carolers, Santa Claus visits and more, providing fun and entertainment for all ages.
Although the event has been around for about 15 years, Berlin Economic & Community Development Director, Ivy Wells, will be planning the event for the first time this year.
“I’ve added a few extra things this year,” Wells said. “I’m having the best time doing this, it’s really a lot of fun.”
Among those new features added to this years event are the ability to take pictures with Mr. and Mrs Claus and live jazz performances at the Berlin Visitors’ Center. Children can get their pictures taken with the Claus’ until 7:30 p.m.
Wells also mentioned everyone’s favorite Christmas characters will be walking around, including a furry green mean guy, a red-nosed reindeer and a funny buck tooth snowman.
Not into costumed characters? There’s more.
There will be three ice sculptures at the event this year, two are premade and one will be sculpted right in front of the crowds.
The sculptor will be bringing two sets of ice corn hole boards and a pre-carved melt away Christmas tree. Once the tree melts, children can find treats and goodies underneath. Wells said these ice sculptures wouldn’t be possible without the help of Casino at Ocean Downs.
This family friendly event is known to attract several hundred people each year and is supplemented with Holiday Arts Night.
During Holiday Arts Night, stores stay open later for shopping and artists fill the streets. Artists will showcase their work around town and live music will flood the streets.
Holiday Arts Night is another way the town of Berlin promotes the arts.
“We wanted to bring people to town, have a community celebration downtown,” Wells said. “It gets packed down here.”
Another feature at this years lighting and arts night is glass blowing. Jeffrey Auxer has become somewhat of a household name in the town of Berlin and he will be teaching people how to make their very own tree ornaments.
Wells said the tree was donated from Friendship Farm with the help of Mike Pennington from Tri-County Council. Autumn from Bleached Butterfly in Berlin has helped out a lot with plans for decorating the tree.
Also at the tree lighting, children can mail their letters to Santa in the big mail box in front of visitor’s center. Each child will receive mail back with a coupon for a cookie from Baked or the Berlin Coffee House, or a coupon for free ice cream from Rayne’s Reef.
The town of Berlin is working on being the number one destination for all holiday needs. With that being said, the annual Berlin Christmas Parade will be held on Thursday, Dec. 3 and all 85 slots for floats are already sold out. Wells says they have never sold out so quickly.
“We actually had to turn people away, people really got an early start this year and really wanted to be in it,” Wells said.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Another addition to Berlin’s holiday festivities is the ‘Win the Window Mainstreet Window Chinese Auction.’ This auction is set up so visitors can go around to different stores downtown and put their tickets in a window they might want to win. Tickets for this activity are $10 and each person can buy up to 10 tickets. The auction will last until Friday, Dec. 18.
Don’t forget that every Saturday, Santa and the different costumed characters will be walking around the downtown area. There will also be free horse and carriage rides every Saturday and Sunday. Those interested can sign up in front of the visitor’s center.
Fun Fact: The special guest Santa on Saturday, Dec. 5 is somewhat of a famous Santa. He was the Santa for the White House in the mid 70’s and 80’s and was there at the time Jimmy Carter was President.