BERLIN – Shops will be open late in Berlin on Friday as the town celebrates the start of the holiday season with Ice Ice Berlin.
On Friday, Nov. 27, shops will be open late in Berlin as the town hosts its first ever Ice Ice Berlin. In addition to browsing local shops, visitors can stroll downtown streets and admire more than 20 illuminated ice sculptures. The ice sculpture display has replaced what would have been Berlin’s annual tree lighting event, which was canceled this year because of COVID-19.
“I truly believe there’s always a silver lining to everything,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “We’ve always looked for a way to have an ice sculpture event downtown. This could be the start of something Berlin implements in years to come.”
From 5-9 p.m. next Friday, shops will be open late as people are invited to stroll through downtown Berlin and admire the town’s Christmas tree and the ice sculptures that have been sponsored by local businesses.
“The businesses were just as excited as I was when the idea was presented,” Wells said.
Ice sculptor Erik Cantine has been working on more than 20 pieces that will be displayed throughout town that evening.
“He’s carving them in advance,” Wells explained. “They’ll be on display and illuminated that night.”
Though Cantine has carved during the tree lighting event in years past, the work takes hours and many who come to town that night don’t get to see the finished product. With next week’s event, Wells said everyone would be able to enjoy the sculptures, which are all holiday themed and were chosen by the sponsoring businesses.
“Everyone will be smiling behind their masks,” she said.
She added that Cantine was thrilled to be able to feature his work in downtown Berlin.
“This is a hobby for him,” she said. “He loves doing it.”
Because of COVID-19, Mayor Zack Tyndall has issued an order requiring that face coverings be worn during Ice Ice Berlin as well as on two other major shopping days in town. Wells said streets would also be closed for the evening of Nov. 27.
“Because the road is closed it’ll allow for more social distancing,” she said.
Though carriage rides will not be offered during Ice Ice Berlin, they will be available weekends in December from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on Ice Ice Berlin visit berlinmainstreet.com.