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


Thousands attend 45th annual Berlin Christmas parade

(Dec. 10, 2015) Two and half hours before Berlin’s 45th annual Christmas parade started last Thursday, dozens of town workers and volunteers gathered in the council chambers at town hall for an impromptu pizza party.
The room, buzzing with nervous energy and filled with a half dozen department heads in casual clothes, hardly resembled the formal space usually reserved for council meetings.
Managing Director Jeff Fleetwood directed traffic in the parking lot outside, while members of the town’s police force filed in and out, taking turns grabbing their crucial last bites of food before the rush of people took over the roughly half-mile stretch of downtown.
At 7 p.m. the first floats ran south down Main Street, starting with Mayor Gee Williams in a carriage with Little Mr. and Ms. Berlin Peach.
Thousands of people lined the streets, leaving virtually no walking space on the sidewalks between the street and the brick-faces of the old Victorian buildings.
Sponsored by Berlin Main Street and funded by the donations of dozens of Berlin-based businesses, the parade drew 83 floats and ran for roughly two hours.
Afterwards Williams, a former newspaper editor, said it was likely the biggest parade in the town’s history.
“Just from all the years of covering it, since the very first one in 1975 as a newspaperman, and then watching it as a citizen and now being in it as mayor for seven or eight years, it was easily the largest-attended ever,” he said. “I was just delighted to see so many people. Hopefully, it’s a permanent fixture for the holidays in Berlin for literally forever.”
On Friday, the town announced the list of winners in each category.
Judging the parade were Louis Taylor, Steve Hales, Dale Smack, Charlotte Cathell and Bill Shockley. Wayne Cannon acted as master of ceremonies.
The Snow Hill marching band took the top prize in its category, followed by Pocomoke and Stephen Decatur high schools, respectively.
Stephenson United Methodist Church won in the youth-sponsored category, with robotics group Titanium Wrecks coming in second and Berlin Little League finishing third.
Berlin Intermediate was named best school-sponsored float, followed by Showell and Buckingham elementary schools, respectively, and WOC Fitness Zumba won for adult-sponsored floats – the only entry in that category.
Berlin’s fire company took the top prize in its category, with Ocean City finishing second and Ocean Pines coming in third.
Trimper’s Amusements was named best in commercial units. Frontier Town finished second and the Harrison Group came in third.
The Stephen Decatur Leo Club was the only youth marching class, coming in first, and Boggs Disharoon won for best adult marching entry. Duncan Showell and the Bearded Men Society came in second and third, respectively.
Other categories with only one entry included motorcycle clubs, won by the Black Knights, and antique cars, won by Bad Monkey/Fager’s Island.    
OC Cruisers won for vehicle clubs, followed by Smitty McGee’s in second and East Coast Cruisers in third place.
In ROTC marching units, Snow Hill High School’s Marine Band earned first place, followed by Pocomoke High School Marines and Stephen Decatur High School, and in the youth performing category OC Stars won first, with the Stephen Decatur High School Choir and Seaside Dance Academy coming in second a third, respectively.