Berlin Plans NYE Ball Drop

BERLIN – Despite the abnormal level of snowfall last weekend, Berlin is still on schedule to host its first ever New Year’s Eve celebration.

When asked if the Christmas blizzard had sidelined the festivities in any way, Economic Development Director Michael Day said that everything was, “going ahead as planned.”

Day did bring up the potential trouble wind or further precipitation might cause, but wasn’t aware of any foul weather in the forecast as of mid-week.

With the conditions looking favorable, Day expressed optimism about the fledgling event, which will be the first official Berlin New Year’s Eve celebration.

Months ago, Day explained that Barb Stack, one of the directors of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, had approached him with the idea of extending the town’s famous Victorian Christmas by encompassing New Year’s as well.

“When we first came up with it, we were just going to have people beating pots and pans, then we decided we wanted more hoopla than that,” Day said.

As it stands, the celebration will include carriage rides starting at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, a DJ hosting dancing in the streets and a midnight ball drop. To help fuel the event, the Atlantic Hotel will provide cider, hot chocolate and a cash bar to those counting down the end of 2010.

“When the ball drops, there will be special effects to signal the New Year,” added Day.

Day stressed that Berlin’s celebration would be an “inexpensive alternative” to other New Year’s options.

“It’s an alternative to going to Ocean City and to nightclubs,” he said.

The event is aimed towards people of all ages, both children and adults. Day did warn that the actual ball drop would be at the customary midnight, instead of a more kid friendly 7 or 8 p.m. drop, like some local towns have it.

“We wanted it [the occasion] to be as traditional as possible, just like Berlin is as traditional as possible,” he said.

This meant a midnight drop, complete with music and special effects.
“The Berlin Electric Department has been phenomenal with this,” Day explained.

Depending on how well this year’s celebration is received, Berlin plans on expanding the hours and activities for next year. Day spoke about the possibility of doing a 6 p.m. ball drop for the kids in addition to the midnight ceremony.

“Six o’clock here coincides with Berlin, Germany’s midnight,” revealed Day. “That might be our angle next year.”