Berlin's Christmas tree will sparkle with new lights
Seasons greetings: Hayley Oakes of Berlin was one of many who saw Santa during Light-Up Night in Berlin in 2010. Hayley is the daughter of Michael and Sherry Oakes. A large crowd braved cold temperatures to see the official lighting of the community Christmas tree before gathering at the community center for refreshments and a chance to meet St. Nick. (Roger Vogel)
"Our community Christmas tree will sparkle just like the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City," said Brad Flick, a Berlin firefighter. "It will really be something to see in the nighttime."
Flick serves as vice president of the fire company and is helped with Light-Up Night by Tim Rhoads, who serves on the executive board.
Last year Somerset Hospital donated funding to purchase 656 C-9 LED (light emitting diode) lights for the tree. This year the hospital has once again stepped forward with a donation to purchase 30 LED strobe lights.
In addition, 18 LED snowflakes have been put up on Main Street along with the traditional Christmas wreaths and lanterns. The Berlin Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Auxiliary, purchased the snowflakes as well as the star on top of the tree. The snowflakes will stay up through February.
"We want to give a big thank you from the Berlin area to Somerset Hospital for this generous donation," he said.
"And, we want to thank the people of the community for their support at the Sunday dinners. Without donors and the community, these projects would be impossible."
It's been about 20 years since the Berlin community Christmas tree was first planted. Each year the pine has been decorated for Christmas and it has now grown to a 30-foot stature.
The Berlin fire department, the auxiliary, Somerset Hospital and Snyder of Berlin will sponsor the event this year. Berlin High School Band will perform during the tree lighting ceremony at 6:45 p.m. in the new medial center parking lot. Santa Claus and Dr. Kenneth Van Antwerp, representing the new Berlin Medical Center, will officially light the tree at 7 p.m.
Everyone is invited to go with Santa to the borough building for fun and the traditional wish list talk with Santa.
Refreshments including treats, popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Entertainment will be provided by Kool Rock D.J. and Snyder of Berlin donated potato chips.
"Berlin is one of the nicest towns in the area," Flick said. "The community as a whole pulls together for these events and it makes for a great family evening. We invite everyone out to show their support."