BERLIN – More than 30 ice sculptures will line the streets of Berlin as the town kicks off the holiday season with a tree lighting this week.
On Friday, Nov. 24, the town will host Ice Ice Berlin, its annual holiday tree lighting and celebration of ice sculptures. Residents and visitors are invited to stroll the town’s streets to shop, eat and enjoy evening.
“The annual town tree lighting event is a magical celebration that brings our community together,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.
As it has for many years, the town will launch the holiday shopping season on Black Friday with Ice Ice Berlin. This year’s event will feature 34 ice sculptures, sponsored by local businesses, that will line downtown streets. Sculptures will be set up on Main Street, Pitts Street and Commerce Street. A special sculpture, at the intersection of Main Street and Broad Street, will honor the memory of Erik Cantine, the ice carver that showcased his skill at the event for years. Wells said he played a key role in making the event what it is today.
“This event would’ve never happened without his vision,” she said.
While the event begins at 5 p.m., Wells said the actual tree lighting was set for 6 p.m. Officials are hopeful that after seeing the tree pulled into town by a team of horses this week, people will be eager to see it fully decorated and lit on Nov. 24.
“OC Pipes and Drums will be performing and the mayor will be on the hotel balcony at 6 to light the tree,” Wells said.
Visitors will be able to enjoy food throughout the event from the town’s restaurants as well as from two food trucks, The Street Kitchen and Sessa’s. Kids have the chance to see Santa at Kringle Kottage, which will be set up on Artisan’s Green, the space next to Honeywater Candles and HOUSE.
Shops will be open late as merchants hope for a successful start to the holiday shopping season. Ryan Nellans, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, said both Friday and Saturday were key days for the town’s shops.
“We’re looking forward to the tree lighting, of course, but as for Berlin’s economic engine we are all eyeing the real prize on Small Business Saturday,” Nellans said. “It’s a special time here because Berlin—and Worcester County—is at the heart of the small business capital of Maryland. We’re proud to boast more businesses per capita than any other county in the state. The variety and quality of what you can do and buy here in Berlin speaks to the phenomenal drive and passion that our residents and business community bring to the table.”