BERLIN – The town will kick off the holiday season this Friday with its annual tree lighting and Ice Ice Berlin.
On Friday, Nov. 26, ice sculptures will line the streets beginning at 5 p.m. as people are invited to Berlin for an evening of shopping and holiday cheer.
“Come down for this family event to get a head start on shopping and enjoy the beautiful ice sculptures,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “It’s a great way to spend time with your family outside.”
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, the public is invited to downtown Berlin to view more than 30 ice sculptures and browse local shops. The evening kicks off with Annapolis Honored Town Crier Squire Frederick Taylor introducing Mayor Zack Tyndall, who will light the town Christmas tree in front of the Atlantic Hotel. A dance performance from Seaside Dance Academy is set for 6:30 p.m. while a performance by Berlin Heat is set for 7 p.m. A live ice carving station will be set up near Sterling Tavern starting at 6:15 p.m. Carriage rides will be offered throughout the evening.
Though Ice Ice Berlin was just started last year as a way to still welcome people to town despite COVID-19, Wells said it’s become incredibly popular.
“People keep asking me about it like it’s been going on for years,” she said. “This is just the second year.”
This year’s event features even more ice sculptures, which are each sponsored by a local business, than last year’s event. Though sponsors selected from a list when choosing last year’s sculptures, this year they were able to choose any design they wanted.
“A lot of them will be unique and different,” Wells said.
She added that two sculptures would benefit artist Erik Cantine and his family. Cantine, the town’s longtime ice carver, is currently battling stage four brain cancer.
Sculptures will be set up along Main Street as well as on Jefferson, Gay, Broad, Commerce, Pitts, Bay and William streets.
Kids will also be able to visit with Santa during the event, as Kringle Kottage will be open from 5-8 p.m.
Ice Ice Berlin is sponsored in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and a grant from the Worcester County Arts Council.
While this week’s event launches the holiday season in Berlin, one of the highlights for local residents will be next week’s Christmas parade. The “Golden Anniversary” parade, set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 2, will feature 80 entries including Worcester County fire companies, marching bands, dance teams and community groups.
This year’s parade will be emceed by Big Al Reno while judges will be Lou Taylor, Elaine Brady, James Tingle, Bill Shockley and Gregory Purnell. While they’ll rate most parade entries, Wells noted that marching bands were judged by a professional band judge.