By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(March 22, 2018) Berlin’s first major event of the year, the Berlin Spring Celebration next Saturday, will start a slew of happenings in town that will run all the way to Dec. 31.
“Right now it’s the quiet before the storm,” Economic and Community Development Director Ivy Wells said. “And then it will be music and food and dancing and fun and excitement for kids of all ages.”
The spring celebration, hosted by the chamber of commerce, will take place Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“It’s an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-themed family, fun event that’s free for all,” Chamber Executive Director Larnet St. Amant said. “We’ll have pony rides, petting zoos, a Mad Hatter bonnet parade with prizes for the winner, a moon bounce, crafts, games, live music and lots of cool stuff.”
The event will also feature a pancake breakfast, for a fee. For times and reservations, call the Berlin Chamber of Commerce at 410-641-4775.
The Berlin Chamber will host the Jazz and Blues Bash on May 5, Spring Cruisers on May 19, Bathtub Races on June 23, Berlin Fiddler’s Convention on Sept. 21-23, and Fall Cruisers on Oct. 6.
This year, for the first time, the Bathtub Races will coincide with a fundraiser fort the nonprofit Believe in Tomorrow.
“I’m really excited that we decided to have the Bathtub Races with the Believe in Tomorrow event,” Wells said. “The Bathtub Races have historically been in the evening and it doesn’t give people enough time to really check out the bathtubs, so I think we’re going to have them set up on Main Street and then people can vote for their favorite bathtub with a dollar. Whoever has the most donations in their tub [wins], and that money will all be donated to Believe in Tomorrow.”
Radio station Ocean98 will host the daylong live music showcase Reggae Play Day (formerly May Day Play Day) on May 11 and the Old Fashioned Memorial Day Parade will return to Flower Street on May 28.
May also marks the return of the Third Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series, May 17 on Artisan’s Way. Thursday concerts are also scheduled on June 21, July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 20.
The free, outdoor events debuted last year.
“I believe [the concerts] are growing in popularity and are definitely enjoyed by our local residents and downtown business folks,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “I think they got off to a good start last year, but I think that’s going to be another event growing in popularity.”
Another live music series, Concerts on the Lawn at the Calvin B. Taylor House, returns on June 10. Concerts on the Lawn are also scheduled on July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9.
The Taylor House Museum will host the Afternoon on the Lawn fundraiser on June 10, Berlin Peach Festival on Aug. 4 and Classical Christmas on Dec. 3.
Additionally, museum board member Carol Rose said the inaugural Historic July 4th Celebration on July 3 will include food, refreshments and games for children, all with an old-fashioned flavor.
Free Outdoor Movie Nights, sponsored by the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee, also return in June. Screenings are scheduled on June 16, June 30, July 14, July 28, Aug. 11, Aug. 25 and Oct. 20. The committee also organizes 2nd Friday art strolls each month, from 5-8 p.m.
Other major events include the town fireworks on July 3, Shakespeare on Main Street on Sept. 1, the country music festival Small Town Throw Down on Sept. 8, and the plein air event Paint Berlin on Sept. 19-22, hosted by the Worcester County Arts Council.
Events continue during autumn with Touch a Truck Day on Oct. 6, Berlin Oktoberfest on Oct. 13, and the Berlin Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House on Nov. 23.
“Oktoberfest is also going to be our town’s 150th anniversary celebration, with antique cars and artisans, and the Ocean Pines Players doing historical street theater,” Wells said.
Additional December events include the Berlin Christmas Parade on Dec. 6 and New Year’s Eve Celebration and Ball Drop on Dec. 31.
“I think our event season this year will be, probably, the best we’ve ever had,” Williams said. “They’re all the popular events we’ve had for the last few years, everything from the Spring Celebration to the Fourth of July fireworks, Peach Festival, Fiddler’s Convention and on and on.
“They will all be, I think, very well attended and supported,” Williams added.
For a complete list of events, visit www.berlinmainstreet.com/events.
For more information on the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, visit www.berlinchamber.org.
For more information on the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum, visit www.taylorhousemuseum.org
For more information on the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee, visit www.artsinberlin.org.