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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Berlin celebrates ‘cool’ town anniversary with flash mob

(April 23, 2015) Something unexpected happened in the middle of the crowded Main Street during the Cool Berlin Anniversary Party last Saturday.
Just after 2 p.m., as Mayor Gee Williams was finishing his opening remarks on the town’s remarkable year, several dozen people broken out into a flash mob.
Williams, wearing his trademark top hat and not skipping a beat, playfully joined in.
“It was spectacular,” said Economic Development Director Ivy Wells, who participated in the flash mob along with Town Administrator Laura Allen and Helen Wiley from Church Mouse.
Wells said Allen came up with the idea, put together a few practice sessions and enlisted extras from Seaside Dance Academy and Stephen Decatur High School.
“The idea came out of a conversation I had with a friend, Amanda Thompson, who is a modern dancer and a city planner in Decatur, Ga.,” Allen said. “In that conversation, I realized we hadn’t celebrated our ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ win through dance. She suggested forming a flash mob as part of our event and agreed to choreograph it.”
With the support of the Arts and Entertainment Committee, Allen said she and Wells, Wiley and Decatur Student Maury Izzett rehearsed with Thompson via Skype.
“Maury asked her friends to join in,” Allen said. “I talked to Worcester Youth and Family as well as Seaside Dance Academy, and Ivy made sure there was a good spot for it during the event. Everyone I spoke to thought it was a fun idea, especially the mayor.”
After practicing with the group, Wells met with Williams to cue him in on his part.
“I told him to not be offended when we interrupted him with a song during his speech, and for him to act surprised and say, ‘Hey, I wonder what’s going on here,’ and for him to just join in. I thought it worked out better than I imagined,” she said.
Wells has used video of the flash mob in what she called “a social media experiment.” As of Tuesday morning the video received more than 4,000 views on Facebook and an additional 1,000 views on YouTube.
Capitalizing on host DJ BK’s touting of “America’s coolest mayor” during the stunt, Wells also purchased the URL, redirecting it to
“By far I received more views from the Facebook direct upload,” Wells said. “I just found that was really interesting, and I’m really trying, overall, to get some more video on the town YouTube channel.”
For his part, Williams said the experience was “a lot of fun.”
“I didn’t know what to expect from the crowd and a lot of credit has to go to the great weather,” he said. “It was just what we’d hoped – kids of all ages, including gray-haired kids down to little kids. That’s what we’re trying to create as a place and a town and for most of our celebrations. It definitely exceeded our expectations. I didn’t have anybody say we shouldn’t be doing it, but I did have a lot of people asking if we’re going to do it again next year.”