Episode 137 #mdscoolestsmalltown

On the advice of Mindie Burgoyne from last week’s show, Todd treated himself to shopping and lunch at the Washington Street Inn in Easton rather than brave the cold at the Winterfest of Lights. He found it, well, Easton-y. The best way to sum up the difference between Berlin and Easton, he said correctly, was that when his son got wound up and ran out into the street, the car that nearly ran him down was a Bentley.

Featured Event

Our guest this week was Mark Huey, vice-president of the Berlin Arts and Entertainment District Committee.

Yes, it is a very Hunger Games title.

But Mark isn’t Hunger Games at all, in fact, he is the #mdscoolestsmalltown evangelist who hopes to help revive the arts downtown. Over the last decade, Berlin has hit something of a rut when it comes to its 2nd Friday Art Stroll events. Early in the century it was nonexistent, or rather, so poorly publicized as to be as good as nonexistent. Michael Day and some of the merchants made a big push and turned the event into something the town could be proud of. The monthly art shows provided a bit of a boost and people started thinking of Berlin in terms of art and entertainment.

But the attention didn’t peek so much as plateau a few years back. New merchants filled the empty stores and, while attendance and participation haven’t dropped off, they haven’t quite been growing as they could. This is where Mark comes in. He is helping to refocus the push to have merchants participate more regularly and more enthusiastically, to help push the off-season 2nd Fridays in a way that sustains the event through the winter and gives is a boost in anticipation of spring.

The next three weeks will bring the Holiday Art Stroll, Victorian Christmas and the Berlin Christmas parade, which is an epic if firetruck heavy event.

Quick Hits

Of course, this week is Thanksgiving, so if you’re on the peninsula, you shouldn’t miss Berlin’s antidote to Black Friday, the Holiday Art Stroll. The shops are open late and serving wine and snacks and totally ignoring the crushing weight of the pressure to consume.

No matter where you are consider at least doing a little Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday shopping and supporting small merchants if not local ones. And my small merchants, I mean small merchants and Amazon (’cause, seriously, whatter ya gonna do?).

ToddMan Out

Natalie takes her birthday pretty seriously, and will do so the weekend of Dec. 8 by officially sending her 30s off, Jazz Funeral Style. Also, keep looking out for opportunities to submit suggestions to our Welcome Police Handbook.

There’s plenty more, including the Todd Man out, discussion of  the best float in the Berlin Christmas Parade (a busful of oldsters) and more of the Welcome Police Handbook.

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