By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(Nov. 30, 2023) Coming on the heels of the insanely popular Ice Ice Berlin event on Friday night is the Christmas Parade, set 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7.
Santa will be riding high in a Berlin fire engine as he leads the parade, which will include participants from a variety of schools, marching bands, fire departments, local businesses, nonprofits and car clubs, according to Ivy Wells, the director of economic and community development for the Town of Berlin.
DJ Big Al Reno will emcee the event from a stage near the Taylor House Museum. The parade starts at The Berlin Welcome Center and proceeds north to the Berlin Fire Company. The judging stand is located on West/Baker Street.
Veterans of the event know to expect big crowds, similar to Ice Ice Berlin, and Wells anticipates about 5,000 people will attend the parade.
Turnout for Ice Ice Berlin was far beyond that of any other year, Wells said, with some stores having to institute a one-in, one-out policy to manage the crowd sizes in their shops. While most stores will not be open during the parade, most restaurants will be. Visitors are advised to plan ahead if they want to eat at a restaurant in town.
Main Street will be closed from 5-10 p.m. from Roadie Joe’s Bar and Grill to the Berlin Library, according to Allison Early, the administrative assistant for the economic and community development department. Visitors to town should park at the Berlin Intermediate School on Franklin Avenue, where a shuttle bus, sponsored by the Casino at Ocean Downs, will take them to the parade viewing area.
For those making plans to bring in the new year, Berlin with its two ball drops will be the place to be. The first drop will be for the kids at 6 p.m. and the other will be at midnight. The New Year’s Eve party will feature laser shows, dancing and more. The event is free.
“New Year’s Eve will probably be just as crowded and just as much fun,” Wells said.