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  • Golden Anniversary Shines Bright in Ocean Pines

    November 07, 2018
    Golden Anniversary Shines Bright in Ocean Pines
    Ocean Pines, in its infant stage, was a small coastal development with unpaved streets and pine trees that outnumbered residents.
    “Ocean Pines’ olden days are both fascinating and enthralling for history-hungry folks,” said Ocean Pines Marketing and Public Relations Director Denise Sawyer. Construction had started on the first phase of Ocean Pines on July 12, 1968, a date that is currently circled in Sawyer’s calendar.
    “The golden anniversary has sparked ‘Pines Pride’ and a collective effort to preserve the community’s rich history,” said Sawyer. To understand the community’s growth, it is necessary to understand the roots of Ocean Pines and to recognize key milestones in its history.
    In 1968, two parcels in Ocean City were purchased for about $400,000. One was to be the location of the Ocean Pines Beach Club, which opened in 1971.
    The beachfront property has long been a resident-favorite among the impressive list of Ocean Pines amenities. Known for its Luau Hawaiian parties in the 70s, the Beach Club transformed into the ultimate beach bash with an overflowing of “splash-tastic surprises” during an anniversary celebration on Sunday, July 22.
    “Having the opportunity to look back to that time and to enjoy how far we have come as a community was very exciting,” Beach Bash event organizer Vicki Harmon said. “My family built a house here in 1971 and my favorite memory of coming to Ocean Pines was the trip to the Beach Club.”
    The “Roundhouse” on Clipper Lane was one of the first homes built in Ocean Pines and served as a sales office. An average lot priced for $6,500. By February 1969, lot sales saw an uptick and exceeded $4 million. By the summer of 1971, more than 4,200 lots had sold to folks from 24 different states.
    John and Mickey King purchased the first home in Ocean Pines in 1969. In the same year, Jerry and Gloria Richards became the first year-round residents of Ocean Pines.
    Since opening in 1972, Ocean Pines Golf Club has been an integral part of the Ocean Pines community. At that time, the course was one of the few golfing options in the Ocean City area. That, and its Robert Trent Jones lineage (it’s the only of the famed architect’s designs on the Delmarva Peninsula) made it a true attraction for the burgeoning development.
    Today, there are 441 lots directly bordering the golf course. Many more residents live in neighborhoods that boast golf course views. Not including members or guests, at least 1,700 Ocean Pines residents use the course annually. An unknown number have used the driving range, played in tournaments and outings or participated in clinics, lessons, and camps.
    More than 120 golfers and volunteers continued the celebration for the Ocean Pines community’s 50th anniversary at a sold-out tournament at Ocean Pines Golf Club on June 30.
    Ocean Pines, a hidden gem in Worcester County has grown in local and national significance, gracing the pages of popular publications like Forbes Magazine, a nationally distributed publication.
    Ocean Pines attracts the attention of Forbes magazine, a leading source for business news and financial information, and is named the top place to retire in Maryland for 2018.
    “Our residents can take great pride in this announcement,” said John Bailey, general manager of the Ocean Pines Association. “Ocean Pines is fifty years young this year and this news just continues to show that the community has withstood the sands of time – and the ocean – and is ready to lead the way into the next decade and beyond as one of the best places to retire on the Atlantic coast.”
    The recognition continues for the coastal community. A newly released ranking of the safest cities in Maryland for 2018 positions Ocean Pines at the top of the list.
    “Our officers are closely tied to their community,” said Ocean Pines Police Chief David Massey. “They take pride in serving our residents 24/7 and keeping our community safe.”
    The largest residential community in the county is ranked No. 1 for safety, with 1.56 violent crimes reported last year.
    “When anyone, anywhere asks the question, ‘What is the safest city in Maryland?’ word is going to get around that the answer is Ocean Pines,” said Bailey. “What great news for our community!”
    As a premier community with more than nine miles of waterfront property on 3,000 acres of wooded areas and awe-inspiring amenities throughout, Ocean Pines is ending this golden year with a celebratory bang.
    The Ocean Pines 50th Anniversary Committee will be hosting a sock hop dance party at the Community Center on Friday, Dec. 14 from 6 - 10 p.m.
    Residents and guests will be taken on a journey back in time when poodle skirts, scarves, leather jackets, and rolled-sleeves were the go-to look for many dance parties in America.
    “It's an old-school night in the gym and time to relive that era before we were ‘all grown up’,” said event organizer Cheryl Jacobs. Dance instructor Mary McCormick will teach dance steps, turns, easy spins, and moves for doo-wop, 50s and 60s music. Attendees will also have a chance to show off their dance moves during a dance contest.
    “Attendees will learn a number of dance moves to some of the most well-known music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s,” said Denise Sawyer, marketing and public relations director for the Ocean Pines Association. The Dean of Doo-Wop, a DJ from WEES 107.9 FM, will provide the entertainment for the evening.
    Costumes are not required but are encouraged. A prize will go to the best-dressed sock hop party-goer. Tickets will be $15 per person (will go on sale Nov. 12 at the Community Center) and will include admission, food, water or soda, and giveaways. The party is open to the public and will take place at 235 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines. BYOB is allowed. Guests are expected to drink responsibly and prepare ahead of time for a designated driver. Party-goers must be 21 or older.
    “The 50th Anniversary of Ocean Pines has been so important and interesting,” said Jennifer Cropper-Rines, chairperson of the Ocean Pines 50th Anniversary Committee. “It’s my goal as the chairperson of the Committee to both share information today and preserve information for future residents.”
    For more information, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.