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


Heritage Festival set for Saturday

(April 23, 2015) Saturday’s Berlin Heritage Festival promises a portal into the past, with displays, artifacts, and live reenactments set to transport guests back through time.
Organizer Pat Diniar said the event began with a group of “history-minded” people who felt the town’s history was going under-appreciated.
“We’re party animals in Berlin,” she said. “We’ll party at the top of the hat, but nobody remembers the start of the town, which was 1868. There were no elected officials, it was run by a committee until 1897, 1898 when they elected their first mayor, who was John Pitt, who we’re going to honor.”
More than a dozen vintage vehicles will be displayed throughout the downtown area, including a 1918 touring car owned by Jack Benny, Reece Cropper’s 1941 Cadillac, a 1957 Thunderbird and fire trucks from the 1920s.  
Dinair said guests will also see tandem bikes and historical vegetable trucks, as well as artisans churning, braiding, hooking, spinning, weaving, lacing, quilting and knitting, all in period costumes.
“The thing that makes us different from everybody else is we’re going to have street scenes,” Diniar said, comparing the key attractions to those scenes seen in Williamsburg, Va.
Karen McClure, president of the Ocean Pines Players, wrote the historical segments.
“We’re doing little short plays, like 10-15 minutes long,” McClure said. “Each of these little plays depicts a different period in the history of Berlin.”
“Decoration Day,” a view into 1920’s Berlin that includes a “generational clash” between Edwardian mothers and their flapper daughters, begins at noon.
“Civic Duty,” set in 1942 just after the United States entered World War II, bows at 1:30, followed by “On the Road,” set in 1959, at 3 p.m.
“The setup is there is a young girl who wants to be a beatnik and her mother, obviously, is horrified by this,” McClure said, added that audiences could expect a twist ending.
McClure said the segments, which will be stated near the Atlantic Hotel, took months of research in order to produce.
“Many of the things that emerged in the research have stimulated me to start a project with some other people to do other historic plays down the line,” McClure said. “There’s a lot that I learned that people just don’t know about various people and events and attitudes over time, and they’re getting lost.
“In the meantime, we’re hoping the street scenes entertain people while we teach them a little something about how the town was,” McClure added.
Charlie Flagiello, performing as “Uke Ellington,” will play period-appropriate music between performances.
Capping off the event at 4 p.m. is a performance by the Pine Tones Chorus on the steps of the Atlantic Hotel.
“Nothing like this has been done down here,” Diniar said. “We’re acting out the times of this country, and we’ll have things about the history of national posted all throughout the streets.
“It’s an enormous amount of research, but I’m fortunate in that I love history and I have a group of people around me who love history. At the drop of a hat we’ll tell you everything we know,” Diniar continued. “It should be a nice day, and we hope everyone enjoys themselves and maybe learns a little something too.”
The Heritage Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A rain date is set for Sunday.