Berlin Advances To Next Round In National Contest Worth $25,000

BERLIN – Berlin is one step closer to taking home a $25,000 grant after being named a quarterfinalist in a national contest.

Berlin has been named one of 25 quarterfinalists in the Independent We Stand America’s Main Streets contest. The 10 quarterfinalists that receive the most online votes between now and May 28 will be considered by a panel of judges in the final phase of the contest.

“There were 242 nominees so the fact that we made it to the top 25 is pretty outstanding,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director.

Wells is encouraging Berlin’s supporters to continue to vote for the town daily in the online contest. To vote, visit www.iloveberlinmd.com. Wells is thrilled with the support the town has received so far and hopes it will continue. She says residents can expect a celebration if the town wins the grand prize.

“A lot of people have come up to me in the street and said ‘I’m voting every day,’” Well said. “I know people are excited and I hope they continue to vote.”

According to the contest website, the semifinalist voting period will be underway from May 1 to May 28. Voters can cast one vote a day for their favorite of the 25 nominees and at the end the 10 with the most votes will go on to the final phase of the contest. That final phase occurs June 2, when a panel of judges will rate the 10 nominees. The grand prize winner will receive a check for $25,000 as well as a $1,000 Stihl equipment certificate, a $500 Tire Pros certificate and a $500 Do it Best shopping spree. The winner will also be recognized on various social media platforms by Independent We Stand.

Berlin is one of three Maryland municipalities represented on the list of quarterfinalists—others include Sykesville and Ellicott City. Berlin isn’t even the only one boasting a Budget Travel America’s Coolest Small Town title on its resume, as just last year Sykesville received the honor.

While Wells admits the substantial monetary prize would make winning the America’s Main Streets contest particularly meaningful, the flow of recognitions that began with Berlin’s 2014 Budget Travel title hasn’t stopped. Berlin continues to earn recognition nationwide in various polls and posts. Just last week, it was on a list highlighting “The Prettiest Town in Every State” on msn.com.

“We are flattered and humbled by all of the positive accolades we have received over the last two years,” Wells said. “We appreciate the recognition and say thank you to all who compliment us. It brings our residents and business owners an enormous sense of pride.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.