History buffs and those just wanting a fun night out can return to a quieter, simpler time at the Ocean View Historical Society’s ’50s Boardwalk Bash, reliving an era when gals wore poodle skirts and guys slicked their hair back just-so.
The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, beginning with a social hour featuring tours of the historical complex at 39 Central Avenue, at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., festivities will kick off at the Ocean View Church of Christ’s Fellowship Hall.
Those who wish to attend must reserve tickets by Sept. 10. Tickets for the event cost $35 per person or $25 for 2016 OVHS members. Those who attend will get to play boardwalk games, have fun in a photo booth, jive to ’50s music, and chow down on hotdogs and hamburgers with fixin’s, coleslaw, a popcorn machine, potato chips, sodas and water.
“We’ll have ’50s music and boardwalk fare. They’ll go home with two photo strips — one color and one in black-and-white,” said Carol Psaros, president of the Ocean View Historical Society. “If they want to dress up in ’50s attire, great!”
A make-your-own ice cream sundae bar, will also be set up, with ice cream donated by Hocker’s Food Markets, who will be serving the boardwalk fare. Attendees are being encouraged to wear period attire, as there will also be a best-dressed contest.
“We thought it would be a fun night for people,” said Psaros of the bash. “They wouldn’t just be sitting and listening. They would be participating and taking themselves back to the boardwalk when they were a kid.”
Those who attend will also have the chance to bid on live auction items, including a weekend getaway to the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, with dinner at 99 Sea Level; a two-night weekend getaway at the Addy Sea in Bethany Beach; a Mediterranean dinner for eight at Psaros’ house, which boasts ocean views; and a two-night getaway at a sweet mountain retreat in Shenandoah Valley near Skyline Drive, which sleeps four.
“We have other smaller items that will also be auctioned off,” she said. “So, besides having fun at the boardwalk, there will be some special weekend getaways and items people can bid on.”
Tickets will be given out to the game winners, which Psaros said would include a contest for twirling those famous toy hoops.
“Winners will be able to win a prize, which will be a commemorative brick,” explained Psaros. “We’re selling commemorative bricks for the building of Hall’s Store. People will play our simple boardwalk games… six or seven of those that are typical of boardwalk games we used to play as kids. You know how you used to get tickets to turn in for prizes? We’re going to give at least one commemorative brick that they can put anyone’s name on, for our historical complex.”
The bricks are also being sold for $50 and $100, to raise funds to build a replica of Hall’s Store. The front half of the building will be Hall’s Store, and the rear half will be an educational and artifact display center. The estimated cost to build the replica of Hall’s General Store is around $250,000.
Psaros said the event is a fundraiser for the society, as they have big plans to build the store and eventually open the Coastal Towns Museum.
“We do have financial needs,” she said, “but the important thing is to keep our lectures going and our informational sessions at our historical complex that we routinely do.”
Currently, the historical society offers free tours of the complex in the summer, on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., which will wrap up on Aug. 31.
The historical society’s next lecture will be held Oct. 5, when Michael DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society, will discuss old-time baseball at Ocean View Town Hall.
“He’s going to come in his uniform. And one of our members … is an umpire for that league. So they’re both going to come in uniform and talk about how the rules were different in turn-of-the-century baseball. That should be a fun night.”
Psaros said that, at that time, attendees will be clued in to other historical society events to follow, which could include a cemetery tour.
As for the Boardwalk Bash, Psaros said she hopes community members will dig out their ’50s duds and attend the night of boardwalk fun.
“We hope it will be fun and historic, in that it will remind them what it was like to be on the ’50s boardwalk. Bethany Beach has a small-town boardwalk. Some of the other boardwalks, like Ocean City, don’t quite have the same feel now as they did in the ’50s. We’re a historic group, so we would like to remember those sweeter, slower times some days.
“We’ll be doing things that people did in the ’50s, as much as we can re-create them in a church hall.”
Those who wish to attend must reserve their seat by Sept. 1, and can do so by mailing a check to OVHS, P.O. Box 576, Ocean View, DE 19970. For reservations or more information, email Barbara Slavin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (302) 593-8814.