Berlin starts reign with block party set for Main Street
BERLIN—Get ready to don your red, white and blue, and party like you are in the coolest small town in America—and why not? You are.
The little town with the big attitude will kick-off its year-long reign as Budget Travel’s “America’s Coolest Small Town” for 2014 with a “rain or shine” Main Street block party for those who were fans of Berlin before Berlin was officially cool.
“It’s time to thank and recognize everyone who chose to “Vote Berlin” during the contest,” Mayor Gee Williams said in a March 10 statement. “If you love Berlin this celebration will be a full day of fun for all ages and friends, family members and of course all of our residents and visitors. We have a lot to be proud of and much to celebrate,” he said.
Downtown streets will be blocked off from 1-6 p.m. for the event, which the organizers promise will be like no other. They listed “lots of food, fun, local artists, students from Worcester County public and private schools, give-a-ways, souvenirs, several top-40 bands and Berlin musician and merchant Steve Frene, who will perform his instant hit song, ‘Cool Berlin,’ among the day’s activities.”
The town is celebrating its victory over 14 other small towns that were competing in an annual nationwide contest sponsored by the online travel Web site, by winning more than 28 percent of the nearly 138,000 votes cast for favorite small town destination, according to the statement. It added, “Budget Travel characterized Berlin as the ‘runaway favorite,” for beach lovers, hikers, bird watchers and history lovers alike.
Free parking areas will be available around and near the party perimeter, and local restaurant Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City will offer free transportation for event attendees with its shuttle bus to and from marked temporary satellite parking locations within the town, officials said.
While the downtown will include family friendly events as part of the coolest celebration, there will be activities just for grown-ups too.
“No beverages of any kind may be brought into the celebration area,” the statement advised. There will be plenty of refreshments and non-glass open containers will be permitted within the party zone, during the celebration.
The Berlin Chamber of Commerce will have a beer garden set up on Jefferson Street featuring craft brews from Berlin’s Burley Oak Brewery, it said.
Tex-Mex and Country Cooking will have a Cantaloupe Crush special for the day, which will give patrons the opportunity to see their newly-remodeled dining and seating area and newly-expanded menu that now includes country cooking fare. Sisters will host the musical group Spare Change and a beer-tasting featuring local beer Fin City. Along with Bruder Hill, Sisters will be offering merchandise like bracelets, koozies and t-shirts for sale, with part of the proceeds to be donated to the Berlin Main Street program.
Also, the local merchants have stocked up on a variety of “Berlin Coolest Small Town” apparel and other memorabilia that will be available for purchase, officials said.
The fun and activities will not be limited to the core downtown party area. Other local businesses and organizations will also be offering cultural and celebratory activities during the town-wide event.
The Berlin Fire Company will host a—its First Annual “Cornhole Tournament” at the fire house grounds on North Main Street. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. Attendees must be at least 18-years old and can try to set a new “world record” by attempting the longest cornhole hand-thrown (bean bag) shot, ever.
The attempts will cost $5 for three shots and an official Guinness World Record judge will be on site to certify any successful contender. Beer and other refreshments will be available during the contest at the fire house, according the organizers.
The Berlin Heritage Foundation will host an open house at the Calvin B. Taylor House on North Main Street from 1-4 p.m. For more information call 410-641-1019 or visit the Web site taylorhousemuseum.org.
Beer and wine supply store Brews Up at 9028 Worcester Hwy., which offers brew-on-premise craft beer and wine classes on Saturdays will host a beer-making class featuring blood orange Hefeweizen beer at 11 a.m. For more information 443-513-4744.
Brews Up’s soon-to-be neighbor at the shopping plaza on U.S. Route 113 is Eastern Shore Kettle Korn, which has not yet finished its showroom, but owner Tom Pfeiffer, will be vending downtown to offer popcorn-lovers a preview of its snacks and treats.
Berlin Post Office representatives will be on hand to sell $5 collector’s editions of pre-printed envelopes, with a special stamp cancellation. The color photo envelopes will be available in two designs, Assateague” and “Main Street,” according to Berlin Postmaster Terri Webster.
“We thought it was amazing that out of the entire nation we were chosen to be the best,” she said of the town’s new designation.
Post Office officials advised the commemorative envelopes can be purchased directly during the celebration from 1-6 p.m., or from either the Berlin or Ocean Pines Post Offices the following week. They may also be purchased purchase by mail at c/o Postmaster 20 Broad St. Berlin Md., 21811. Mark the request “Main Street,” or “Assateague,” to indicate your desired design, they said.
The Germantown School Heritage Center at 1023 Trappe Road will host an open house with an exhibit of local African American history and memorabilia from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information call 410-430-7094.
Ocean Breeze Alpacas will host a class and demonstration on dyeing fibers from 1-3 p.m. The farm is located northwest of the Town of Berlin on Route 50 westbound just north of the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack For more information call 410-251-0931.