(Nov. 2, 2017) Halloween night in downtown Berlin was a success, judging by the thousands of costumed children who descended on the downtown, accompanied by thousands more adults.
Hundreds of Disney princesses, Wonder Women, and Power Rangers of all colors and sizes stood in line for a haunted house at Burbage Funeral Home, while dinosaurs, Darth Vaders and at least one Beetlejuice could be seen trick-or-treating across storefronts on Main Street.
Ninja Turtles, Bat and Supermen —and Women —and Pokémon gathered tons of candy along the heavily decorated and highly trafficked spectacle on Washington Street, where the homeowners took Halloween just as seriously as the children carrying overflowing orange plastic buckets.
At least two flash mobs broke out, including one, set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” on Washington Street at about 6 p.m. A second occurred in front of the Atlantic Hotel about a half-hour later and a third was rumored, but unconfirmed as of press time.
Just after 7 p.m. about two dozen members of progressive group Indivisible Worcester, wearing funeral costumes and carrying mock tombstones, executed a planned “Die-In” protest on Main Street, marching from Baker to Jefferson Street in front of the Atlantic Hotel. Along the way they chanted “We’re here. We’re sad. Our climate’s going bad.”
The protest parade marshal, played by Toby Perkins, stepped forward in front of the Atlantic and read from a prepared script that began:
“In words of many syllables
we’re Worcester Indivisible.
We always come in peace,
and we honor the police.
Republican, Democrat or Independent
we have one principle transcendent:
we work to keep the Trumpster
from throwing our country in the dumpster.
Tonight we’re here for treat and trick
because our climate’s getting sick.”
Perkins, afterward, said he thought it all went “pretty good.”
“We don’t get to march back up Main Street — that’s a disappointment. But, I guess the police have done enough for us for one night,” he said.
A handful of onlookers were not amused, including Ocean Pines resident Ward Harborson, who repeated the popular pro-President Donald Trump mantra “Make America Great Again” during the demonstration.
“It should be about the kids — this is Halloween,” he said. “The last thing we need to politicize is something that’s for the kids.”
Mayor Gee Williams watched everything unfold and lingered in front of the hotel afterward.
“It certainly was in the spirit I thought it would be,” he said of the demonstration. “It blended into the spirit of the town, which is to freely express yourself, but at the same time have fun.
“You can stand for whatever you believe in, regardless of what it is, but do it with style. Do it with some fun,” Williams added.
It was all over and without incident by about 7:30 p.m. Demonstrators dispersed and the small contingent of police escorting the group resumed its normal Halloween activities.
Most importantly, no trick-or-treating was interrupted. And the thousands of residents and guests went home to, presumably, work their way into a once-a-year sugar coma.