Santa Claus waives to the crowd from the top of a fire truck during the 48th annual Berlin Christmas Parade last year.

(Nov. 29, 2019) More than 80 floats will travel through downtown Berlin next Thursday night as the 49th annual Berlin Christmas Parade sets the holiday mood for the town.

The parade will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Main Street, beginning near the Berlin Welcome Center on South Main Street, and ending at the Berlin Fire Company on North Main Street, according to event organizers.

Ivy Wells, Berlin’s community and economic development director said one of the reasons for the parade’s popularity is its timing.

“It’s magical ... it’s just a different feeling when it’s at night,” she said.

The theme for this year’s even is “Magical Melodies: the Music of the Season.” 

Parade spectators who drive to town will find additional parking at Berlin Intermediate School off Route 113. They also can take advantage of a free shuttle. 

Usually, the event has a stage set up in front of the Atlantic Hotel, but organizers this year decided to move the stage to the intersection of Baker and Main streets to allow for more space. 

Judging of parade entries will be done by two panels — one for bands and one for the floats.

She added that float judges will be looking for the best in show for fire company, commercial, nonprofit, and children’s categories. 

Wells said that Lou Taylor, superintendent of Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent, Elaine Brady, assistant publisher for the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, longtime judge Bill Shockley, Steve Frene, former co-owner of Victorian Charm, as well as James Tingle, a “local celebrity” and former mailman in Berlin, will judge the floats.

While this is Tingle’s first time judging the parade, he said he’s been attending it for more than 30 years.

Tingle said the judges are “looking for dedication, accuracy, presentation and their theme for the [Berlin] Christmas Parade.”

Tingle said he looks loves coming back to see the Christmas parade year after year. 

“The Town of Berlin looks forward to it … it’s just an exciting time for Berlin period,” Tingle said. “It’s a kickoff for Christmas. It just gets the spirit just flowing even greater.”

 “For more information, visit the “Berlin Christmas Parade” Facebook page.

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