Berlin Adds New Wrinkles To Annual Ball Drop Celebration

BERLIN – The town will celebrate the arrival of 2020 with special events for both children and adults next week.

On Dec. 31, Berlin will host a New Year’s Eve ball drop for kids at 6 p.m. followed by a second ball drop at midnight as the town rings in the new year.

“Come experience what it’s like to be surrounded by the funnest people on the planet,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.

Wells said the festivities for the younger crowd would begin downtown shortly after 5 p.m., highlighted by the kids ball drop at 6 p.m. Though children at last year’s event celebrated the new year by noisily stomping on bubble wrap, Wells said the town had changed tactics this year in an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Kids will be given miniature cowbells, which were sponsored by Main Street shop Heart of Gold Kids, to celebrate.

“The kids are going to love us that night but the parents won’t the rest of the year,” Wells joked.

After the children clear out, the town will set up for a second ball drop geared toward adults. At 10 p.m., visitors can gather downtown to enjoy music and entertainment from DJs Big Al Reno and Schwab. They’ll be set up on the town’s portable stage, which will be transformed into what Wells described as a “disco dance area.”

The event will be served by two food trucks while drinks will be available at the full bar outside the Atlantic Hotel as well as from the Burley Oak beer truck. In a slight change in layout, the Burley truck will be parked on Broad Street, where an area of high-top tables will be set up for patrons to use.

“It’ll create more of an intimate atmosphere over there,” Wells said.

Wells said another new addition to this year’s event was a projector — sponsored by Danny King — that will display a light show on the side of one of the downtown buildings throughout the evening.

Wells pointed out the town has an array of bars and restaurants that will be in full swing New Year’s Eve. She encourages folks to come to Berlin and dine before the festivities begin.

“If people are coming to Berlin for the evening they can eat and then stay for the party,” she said.

She added, however, that the ball drop was always well attended by Berlin residents.

“It’s definitely something for the locals,” she said. “That way nobody has to worry about drinking and driving.”

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.