BERLIN — The downtown was alive with activity Friday as kids from all over the area came to participate in the third annual Little Miss and Little Mister Peach Berlin contest. Sponsored by Main Street Berlin, this event chooses the children who helped open this year’s and will help open next year’s Berlin Peach Festival.
The pageant kicked off a busy weekend that included the 2nd Friday Art Stroll and street closures for the annual sidewalk sale as well as the victory parade for the Berlin Little League All Star teams and the Berlin Peach Festival.
Mayor Gee Williams took the opportunity to remind the crowd about the schedule and laud everyone involved for all the hard work done to bring off the town’s many events.
“We have a community philosophy in working together and supporting one another,” Williams said. “We practice it every day here in Berlin.”
Barbara Gallagher, who volunteered to emcee the pageant, did so simply because she loves talking to kids.
“When [Matthew Holland] came hopping out, that made my day,” she said.
Holland, a Berlin resident and student at Showell Elementary impressed more than Gallagher with his enthusiasm. Dressed in his favorite golf hat, a green polo and blue shorts, he was as much the picture of a leisurely summer as of youth and exuberance. It was this performance that likely caught the judges’ eyes and propelled him to the top of the list of Mister Peach Berlin candidates.
Little Miss Peach Berlin honors went to Trista Harner, who wore her Easter dress with a peach sash and flower in her hair. The dress she chose herself, although she said her parents helped accessorize it. Harner is a kindergartener at Showell Elementary.
Around town there were openings galore, including a family show at The Water’s Edge Gallery where Evan Fitzgerald joined his father, resident artist Kevin Fitzgerald, to show his newest major work.
The younger Fitzgerald’s paintings couldn’t be much more different than his father’s. His colors are bolder and the paintings themselves less abstract as they deal with plays in perspective and proportion.
Little Chico had a well received and long awaited opening at the Baked Dessert Cafe and Gallery on Bay Street that was attended by many, including Tom Hogan, the art teacher who inspired and pushed him.
Hogan was a little surprised at the warm welcome he received by his former student praising Little Chico for the work he’d done and deflecting suggestions about the magnitude of his own influence.
Art from all the openings around town will remain on display for the remainder of the month.