Berlin Planning To Give Heritage Festival Another Shot

BERLIN – Classic cars, costumes and even dialogue will highlight a special event planned to celebrate Berlin’s heritage this spring.

The Mayor and Council this week approved plans for the Berlin Heritage Festival, a unique event featuring classic cars and street scenes from the 19th and early 20th century. The festival, scheduled for April 25, will take place in downtown Berlin.

“I’m delighted,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

The festival is the work of Berlin’s Pat Diniar, the Atlantic Hotel’s resident history buff. Diniar first held the festival during the summer of 2013, but high temperatures led to low attendance and at the mayor’s urging she decided to give it another try this spring.

The event, which is scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 25, is intended to celebrate Berlin’s 1868 incorporation.

“We’re going to have a lot of classic cars, a lot of street scenes and a lot of artisans,” Diniar said.

She said the street scenes, similar to those found in Williamsburg, would represent a variety of different eras — Victorian, Edwardian, World War II and the present. Diniar said the Ocean Pines Players were working to find actors and create scripts for each of the portrayals. Williams will be in the earliest street scene, which will feature the town’s first mayor, John Pitts. The most modern scene will be centered on local musician Charlie Flagiello, who will play music representative of the 1950s through 2015.

In addition to the street scenes, the Berlin Heritage Festival will feature classic cars from as early as the 1920s. Artisans providing demonstrations throughout the day will include a lace-maker, a quilt-maker and a blacksmith, among others. Downtown shops will also each have some sort of historic artifact on display, Dinier said.

Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director, is working with Diniar to promote the event. She said they were encouraging attendees and merchants to also dress in period costumes.

“We’re encouraging people to dress up and if they do they get a gift,” Wells said.

Wells was so impressed with the concept of the festival after hearing about Diniar’s first event that she nominated it for an award offered by the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area Council. Diniar will be presented with the honor at a ceremony April 29.