BERLIN – This year’s New Year’s Eve ball drop in Berlin takes on a new twist with an early evening event created for kids.
In addition to the official ball drop at midnight on Dec. 31, Berlin will host a New Year’s Eve celebration for children from 5-6 p.m.
“I’d been asked by Councilmember Thom Gulyas to do this last year,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director. “After seeing so many young families in town I decided to give it a shot.”
Kids are invited to Main Street for free cocoa and cookies as they await the 6 p.m. ball drop. Wells says they’re in for a treat, as they’ll be watching a ball made just for them drop. The piñata-like ball, which will be filled with glow sticks, will be dropped from a bucket truck as kids stomp around on a street covered in sheets of bubble wrap.
“Glow sticks will come out for the kids and they can stomp on the bubble wrap,” Wells said.
Emily Vocke of Heart of Gold Kids, one of the event’s sponsors, is thrilled that the town is doing something special for children. She hopes it will become an annual event.
“We are super excited to offer a family friendly event that includes fun for the children,” she said. “We love our annual Berlin ball drop, but we haven’t been able to participate since we had children so I think providing something for the whole family to participate in will be a huge hit.”
Wells says the town will have plenty of time to clean up what’s left of the kids’ festivities before the “real” ball drop later in the evening. Adults are invited to arrive at 10 p.m. to enjoy a festive atmosphere with a DJ, dancing and light show.
“We’ll have a countdown projected on the side of the building and we’ll do a new PowerPoint of photos from this year’s events,” Wells said.
Vendors will include Eastern Shore Kettle Korn and Burley Oak Brewery.
“They’re creating a special beer for a midnight beer toast,” Wells said, adding that beer sales from the Burley Oak truck would benefit the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council.
Wells wants to remind attendees that no outside alcohol will be allowed at the event.
She encourages residents to walk downtown with their friends and neighbors to enjoy the annual event.
“Everyone gets to come down and celebrate together,” she said. “You can see how much Berlin likes to have a good time.”