WORCESTER COUNTY — Parades and an assortment of activities are planned in and around the Berlin area to put residents and visitors in the holiday spirit.
n An estimated 3,000 people line Main Street annual to watch Berlin’s annual parade. The 42nd installment is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6. Rain date is Dec. 13.
This year, the theme of the parade will be “Berlin’s Home Town Christmas.”
Approximately 90 entries, ranging from floats to marching bands representing Stephen Decatur, Snow Hill, Pocomoke and Worcester Tech high schools are expected to participate in the parade, sponsored by the town of Berlin, in cooperation with the Berlin Chamber of Commerce. Donations made by Berlin area merchants help cover the cost of conducting the parade.
The parade will begin at 7 p.m. in front of the firehouse and follow along North Main Street, concluding at the corner of South Main and Tripoli streets. Santa will be last to make his way down the street.
Parade categories include adult and student sponsored floats, adult and children’s marching and performing units, fire companies, commercial units, vehicle clubs, motorcycles, antique cars, school bands, as well as ROTC marching units, crowned youth and equestrian entries. Trophies will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category.
“It’s a big, big event for the town,” said JoAnn Unger, co-chair of the parade with Sharon Timmons. “People are in a festive, happy mood.”
For more information, contact Unger at 410-641-3858 or Timmons at 410-629-1716.
n Activities for the entire family will be offered in Berlin during December, from scenic horse and carriage rides to breakfast with Santa, as a part of the town’s Victorian Christmas celebration.
Many of the shops are decorated for the holiday season. Some of the town’s merchants will also host special events and open houses as part of the Victorian Christmas.
For more information on the upcoming events, pick up a Victorian Christmas brochure at any of the Berlin shops, contact the Berlin Chamber of Commerce at 410-641-4775 or visit www.berlinchamber.org. The Berlin Chamber can also be found on Facebook, www.facebook.com/BerlinChamber.
n The Ocean Pine Association will present its second annual tree-lighting celebration, accompanied by music, tonight, Nov. 30, at 6:30 p.m. during “An Old Fashioned Christmas” at White Horse Park.
Businesses, community residents, civic groups and organizations had the opportunity to sponsor and decorate a tree, approximately 8 to 12 feet in size.
Last year, an estimated 300 people attended the inaugural event when 14 trees were sponsored and displayed. Ten of those sponsors are participating again this year.
“It went very well for a first-time event. We were extremely pleased with the turnout,” said Sonya Bounds, director of the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department.
Seventeen trees will be adorned with lights and decorations this year. They have been sponsored by the following: Arcadia Questers, Beta Sigma Psi Int’l Sorority, Colonial Village HOA, Delmarva Chorus, Democratic Women’s Club, Kay and Lanny Hickman, Kiwanis of Ocean Pines and Ocean City, Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, Ocean Pines Garden Club, Ocean Pines swim team, Pine’eer Craft Club, Pink Ribbon Pinups, Prudential Pen Fed Realty, Republican Women of Worcester County, Worcester County Democratic Club, Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce and Ocean Pines Association.
New this year is the “Children’s Tree Garden,” where four trees will be featured.
The Delmarva Chorus and children’s choral groups from Most Blessed Sacrament School will provide the musical entertainment this evening in the park, which will be transformed into a colorfully lit winter wonderland. Hot cider will be offered to guests, and Santa will also make an appearance. Horse and carriage rides around the park will be available.
“We want it to keep growing. We’d love to fill the park,” Bounds said. “It’s a great kickoff to the holiday season.”
Trees will remain lit and on display until the new year.
For more information, call 410-641-7717, Ext. 3006 or visit www.oceanpines.org.
n Ocean Pines residents can also participate in the annual “Light Up the Pines” contest.
Those interested in participating must enter by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec 13. Residents can e-mail their name, address and phone number to info@OceanPines.org, call 410-641-7717 Ext. 3014, or fax information to 410-641-5581. There is no cost to participate.
One winner will be chosen in the following categories: Top Notch All Around, Most Creative and Most Lights. New this year is a People’s Choice award. Residents will vote their favorite. Prizes will be awarded.
n Each year, an estimated 2,500 residents and visitors line Coastal Highway for Ocean City’s annual Christmas parade, and organizers expect as many, if not more, spectators in attendance this Saturday for the 30th installment.
The 2012 “Christmas at the Beach” parade will begin at 11 a.m. on 100th Street. Approximately 80 units will travel north along Coastal Highway to the Gold Coast Mall on 115th Street.
Elaine Jarvis of the Gold Coast Mall Merchants Association, the organization that sponsors the event, said the best viewing spot is from the stands set up in the parking lot of the mall, where parking will also be available. Spectators may also watch the parade from the sidewalk along the route.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s like the kickoff for Christmas,” Jarvis said.
Bands from Stephen Decatur, Snow Hill and Pocomoke high schools have registered to participate. Antique cars, llamas, commercial and non-commercial floats, marching units, horses, school floats, fire companies and motorized vehicles will also take part in the festivities.
And, of course, Santa will make an appearance.
Professional judges will be at the reviewing station in the Gold Coast Mall parking lot to evaluate the parade participants. First-, second- and third-place winners will be named in nine categories: school marching units, nonprofit organizational/non-commercial floats, commercial floats, school floats, horse units, antique cars, marching units, fire companies and motorized vehicles.
Awards will be presented after the parade in the mall. Santa will also be inside the mall to greet guests.
The last day to register as an entry in the parade is today, Nov. 30. There is no cost to participate.
Changes in traffic patterns will begin at approximately 9 a.m. on parade day.
In addition to the parade, there will be and an arts and crafts showcase inside the mall, today through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The new event will feature approximately 25 artists selling jewelry, candles, glassware and paintings, among other handcrafted items.
For more information or to register for the parade or arts and crafts show, call 410-524-9000.
n The inaugural “Light Up Downtown Celebration,” sponsored by the Downtown Association, Ocean City Development Corporation and town of Ocean City, will run through Dec. 15. The event kicked off last Saturday with a tree-lighting ceremony at Sunset Park. Each Friday and Saturday, beginning at 5:30 p.m., there will be musical entertainment, dance performances, carriage rides, bake sales and hot cocoa, among other activities at the park off South Philadelphia Avenue on the bay at South Division Street. Santa will also be on hand, and on Dec. 8, he is scheduled to arrive by Coast Guard boat. There is a small fee for carriage rides, while all other events are free.
“The Light Up Downtown Celebration is a nice, family-oriented special event that will help bring back some of the holiday feel to the downtown area for this season,” Glenn Irwin, executive director of the Ocean City Development Corporation, said last week. “We hope this new event will grow larger each year.”
The objective of the “Light Up Downtown Celebration” is to bring holiday displays back to the inlet and downtown area. Donations to the “Donate to Decorate” fund will assist with reviving the holiday spirit downtown. For more information, call the Downtown Association at 410-289-1413 or visit www.downtownassociation.net.
Other Christmas parades:
n Selbyville, Del.: Friday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m. Begins and ends on Church Street in downtown Selbyville. For more information, call 302-539-2100, or visit www.bethany-fenwick.org.