NYE

A crowded downtown Berlin braves the rain to celebrate a special ball drop for children and families on New Year’s Eve last year.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Dec. 26, 2019) Thousands of residents and visitors can ring in the new year, and the new decade, next Tuesday in downtown Berlin with two ball drops.

Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic and community development director, said the festivities started about seven years ago. It’s since developed into a popular town event.

“It started small, and it was also for locals who didn’t want to drive on New Year’s Eve, but wanted to come down and celebrate with their neighbors, and their friends, and then now it’s [grown] into such a large event,” Wells said.

There are two opportunities to partake in the holiday’s free festivities: the kids’ and adult ball drops.

When asked why people should attend Berlin’s holiday celebrations, she simply said “because it’s the most fun you’ll have on New Year’s Eve.”

The kids’ ball drop will take place at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Pitts streets, Wells said, adding that Pitts Street will close during the children’s event.

Wells said many of the downtown restaurants will be open, along with food trucks, and music will be provided by Ocean 98.1. The Seaside Dance Academy will also have hot chocolate available for purchase.

Wells said that the children’s event is “fun for families who want to enjoy the ball drop but don’t want to wait up until midnight or stay up until midnight.”

As for the adults, the ball drop will take place at midnight on Main Street across from the Atlantic Hotel, Wells said. The adult bash will begin at 10 p.m. and Main Street will close until 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

The stage will be set up across from the hotel on Main Street.

She added that there will be food trucks, the hotel will have an outdoor bar and Burley Oak Brewing Company will have a “special New Year’s Eve” beer.

Wells said the adult ball drop is complete with music, dancing and a light show.

“It’s like Times Square comes to Berlin,” Wells said.

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