Ocean City Today
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Annual Christmas parade in Berlin, Thursday

By Josh Davis | Nov 30, 2017
Photo by: JOSH DAVIS/OCEAN CITY TODAY More than 80 floats marched down Main Street last Thursday during the annual Berlin Christmas Parade. Entries included community groups, schools, nonprofits, and local businesses. JOSH DAVIS / PHOTO

(Dec. 1, 2017) Eighty-five entries, from school bands to local businesses, nonprofits and political leaders, will make their way down Berlin’s Main Street during the 47th annual Christmas parade, Thursday, Dec. 7  at 7 p.m.

Ivy Wells, Berlin Economic and Community Development director, said the parade route has been reversed this year for several reasons. For one, she said the previous parade path, which started at the firehouse and went south toward the judging station in front of the Atlantic Hotel, was a long way to walk on what historically has been one of the coldest days of the year.

“It used to be that way about 20 years ago and I decided that I wanted to change it, based on some of things that have happened over the last three years that I’ve been here,” she said. “Kids … and there’s a lot of elderly in the parade … have to walk all that way in the cold and then be ready to perform close to the end of the parade route.

“I thought it would be better for their performances to be at the beginning and then they can relax and have fun during the rest of the parade.”

The staging ground is largely set at Stephen Decatur Park. Wells said emails were sent to participants and letters were distributed in schools, detailing specific drop-off locations and times. A map also was circulated.

The new route will see entries traveling north, from the Berlin Welcome Center on 14 South Main Street to the Berlin Fire Company on 214 North Main Street. Children can be picked up afterward at Berlin Intermediate School on 309 Franklin Avenue.

Judging categories include best adult and youth marching groups and marching bands, as well as youth-sponsored, school-sponsored, adult-sponsored, fire company, commercial and vehicle-club floats.

“There’s a lot of them,” Wells said. “Elaine Brady [from the Bayside Gazette] and School Superintendent Lou Taylor are judges.”

Thousands are expected to attend the celebration. For the first time, vendors will be set up outside. These include Eastern Shore Kettle Korn and Sessa’s Vending and Catering.

Following the annual Berlin Holiday Art Stroll and Tree Lighting by a week, the parade continues the effort by town officials to spread holiday cheer.

“This year’s theme is ‘Peace on Earth’ and I’m hoping that people really take that to heart and remember what that means in the spirit of the Town of Berlin,” Wells said.

The Town of Berlin is also sponsoring a free letters to Santa program. To receive a letter, drop a wish list with a return address at the Berlin Welcome Center, before Dec. 20. The drop-off box is inside the foyer, which is open 24 hours a day.

Return letters include a note from Santa and a coupon for a free treat.

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