While Ocean City, MD was having its Winterfest of Lights 2020 on Friday, November 27th, the Coolest Small Town in America, nearby Berlin, MD was doing something it does every year. It was just doing it differently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, the tree lighting, parade, restaurants, shopping, ice carving demonstration, and more welcome residents and guests alike who get to experience the holidays in Berlin. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the flagship events for 2020 had to be altered
However, Berlin didn’t miss a beat and ended up having the first Ice Ice Berlin Art Stroll Holiday Shopping night. Ivy Wells, Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Berlin, provided the information about the event found in this article.
Traditionally, the extraordinary Erik Cantine, Director of Food and Beverage at Ocean Downs Casino, carves an ice sculpture for crowds to look on and observe him at work. This year, though, he carved his sculptures (yes, as in plural!) in advance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of one ice sculpture, he carved a staggering 24! These sculptures, according to Ms. Wells, were then placed throughout the town in front of the business sponsors of the event. The strategic placement allowed guests to chart a path through the town and incorporate the CDC-recommended social distancing in light of the pandemic. This way, the community could spread out for the event.
Ice Ice Berlin Map
The map allowed for guests at the event to traverse the town of Berlin and enjoy the incredible attractions the town has to offer everyone who visits. In addition, guests They were also able to do so safely.
Sculptures and More
In addition to the ice sculptures that people could peruse during the evening, all while enjoying the finer things Berlin has to offer, Berlin completely reimagined its tree-lighting and transformed it into this event. Ms. Wells indicated the event would probably reoccur in 2021 because it was such a success this year. Since the town is aware of the need to keep residents and visitors to the event safe, several stores placed racks with their wares outside so people could browse and purchase them.
Restaurants also added outdoor dining options, which had not been widely used before in town. Ms. Wells also said that the event and Berlin in general allows people to “be a kid again” because there are so many things to do. This commendable commitment to safety contributed to the event’s success and allowed for a great time to be had. Kudos to you, Berlin!
What else does Berlin have in store for the holidays? There are FREE horse-drawn carriage rides (masks required and only one group may ride at a time) during the month of December, which is another great way to view Berlin. Moreover, there is a “Letters to Santa” mailbox at the Visitor Center; a coupon for a free concoction from a local shop or restaurant awaits those who write before December 14th.
Last but not least, as an adjunct to Ice Ice Berlin, there is a “Light Up Berlin” holiday house decorating contest. Entrants can win such honors as the Clark Griswold (Christmas Vacation ) award for the brightest house, the Kevin McAllister (Home Alone ) award for most creative , George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life) award for the most conventional holiday house, or the Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol) award for the most holiday-spirited house.
Berlin had an awesome event and is a great destination to visit. Visitors and residents have until December 12th to see the houses vying for top honors in the “Light Up Berlin” contest. Judging will end by the 12th and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter. There’s also a great story about it here from The Maryland Coast-Dispatch.
What are you waiting for-get thee to Berlin!
Did you go? Please feel free to share comments and photos from the event.