Town’s Yule event should draw thousands downtown tonight to see 51st edition
(Dec. 1, 2022) The weather is cold, the fare is warm, the bright lights are hung and thus the locals are ready for the 51st annual Berlin Christmas Parade tonight.
Thousands are expected to descend upon the Main Street corridor between the town’s welcome center and the Berlin Fire Department to watch dozens of original floats roll down the street, each spreading its own brand of holiday cheer.
Dancers, fire trucks and Santa Claus himself will also be a part of the festivities.
“There’s nothing like the Berlin Christmas Parade,” Berlin Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said. “It’s the largest on the Eastern Shore and there’s something special about seeing the floats all lit up at night.”
The theme this year, as picked by Mayor Zack Tyndall, is an “Eastern Shore Christmas.”
“It’s up to the interpretation of each entry,” Wells said. “Each is an interpretation of what an Eastern Shore Christmas means to them.”
For the second year, the parade is back in full force after dealing with covid protocols in 2020.
“Everything is as is — the judges are returning. They’ll be located next to the Calvin B. Taylor Museum at the intersection of West and Main (streets),” Wells said.
Designers for the floats that score the highest marks will earn themselves a trophy created by Berlin’s own Ashton Welding. Wells said it’s a wooden trophy with a metal design of a truck with a Christmas tree in its bed.
“The trophies are also works of art,” she said.
Though the streets will be too crowded for vendors and booths, Wells said that Pop’s Kitchen will be open for slices of pizza and Sessa’s Vending will be serving hot dogs.
Those hoping to nab a prime spot for the parade may want to plan early. Wells said parade-goers often set up their blankets and chairs early in the morning to ensure just that.
The parade begins at 7 p.m. in front of the Berlin Welcome Center and is free to attend. Big Al Reno from Ocean 98 will emcee the event.
Meanwhile, over in Ocean City the town is getting prepared for its 39th annual Christmas Parade on Saturday.
The parade will march along Coastal Highway starting at 11 a.m. on Old Landing Road. It will take a northerly route, using the southbound lanes, to the judge’s stand on 120th Street.
The judges will review bands and other parade units in nine categories, according to a press release from the town. The event will feature more than 60 units, including high school bands, antique cars, floats and more.
“For more than 35 years, this parade has been an iconic event for Ocean City and we are happy to continue a custom that is loved by so many,” Ocean City Special Events Director, Frank Miller said in the release.
Trophies will be awarded afterward during the post-parade reception by the Carousel Hotel. The reception includes ice skating to holiday music, free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and complimentary winter refreshments.
The masters of ceremony this year will be WMDT’s “Good Morning Delmarva” anchor Jordie Clark and DJ BK from Radio Ocean City.
Traffic pattern changes will begin around 8 a.m. and motorists should plan accordingly.