Ocean City Today

Earlier start for Berlin’s New Year’s Eve annual celebration

By Josh Davis | Dec 28, 2017
Source: photo from YouTube

(Dec. 29, 2017) Berlin’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration will expand this year, with a separate ceremony for families and young children earlier during the evening as well as the traditional countdown at midnight.

A New Year’s Eve party is scheduled to run from 5-6 p.m., downtown, with free hot chocolate and cookies for children. The countdown, at 6 p.m., will coincide with the midnight festivities in Berlin, Germany.

Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said the town would lower a special Christmas tree with a present underneath, rather than the traditional ball drop.

“When it gets lowered, a trap door opens with a fishing line and candy and glow sticks will drop out of the bottom,” she said. “We’ll also be rolling out some giant plastic sheets of bubble wrap, so the kids can jump up and down.”

Councilman Thom Gulyas has, for several years, lobbied for an earlier start time.

“I’m very glad that the Mayor and Council are able to offer a traditional, early family event,” he said.

“Thom Gulyas is very excited about this,” Wells added. “He’s beyond excited. I think he’s going to be down there jumping on the bubble wrap too.”

For grownups, the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration will still be offered, culminating in a countdown and ball drop at midnight.

This year, rather than have a stage setup, Wells said emcees Big Al Reno and Schwab from Ocean 98 would run the show from the balcony of the Atlantic Hotel.

“We’re going to do a countdown projection clock on the side of the [Town Center Antiques] building, as well as a slide show of all the photos that were taken this year,” Wells said.

The Atlantic Hotel will sell beer and wine from an outdoor bar and Burley Oak Brewing Company will sell locally brewed craft beer, with proceeds benefiting the Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area Council.

Wells said a special beer toast was planned at midnight, instead of the traditional champagne salute.

She said about 1,000 people generally attend the event, geared especially toward residents.

“The whole idea is to give people something to do, so they don’t have to drive anywhere,” she said. “They can just walk downtown and drink in the street and dance and have a good time, and then walk back home. Everyone’s invited to come, but it’s definitely a party for locals.”

Starting in the New Year, Berlin will celebrate the 150th incorporation of the town during dozens of sanctioned events, starting with Spring Celebration on March 31.

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