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First thing Monday morning, Sunset Beach Town Hall was overrun with residents.
No, they weren’t upset or picketing town issues.
They just wanted to get their hands on one or two of the available 600 tickets for the town’s upcoming 50th-anniversary reception.
Residents converged after invitations for two upcoming parties celebrating Sunset Beach’s half-century-mark went out in the mail. The postcards announced tickets for the first event on March 26 would be available starting this past Monday, Feb. 25, through March 15.
Residents were required to bring their invitations, along with valid IDs with Sunset Beach addresses. Tickets were limited to two per household.
By 2 p.m. Monday, town hall had run out of all available 600 tickets, town clerk Lisa Anglin said.
The kickoff event celebrating Sunset Beach’s 50th anniversary is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, March 26—the official date of the town’s incorporation five decades ago—in the Sea Trail Convention Center ballroom.
The event begins with hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Business attire is requested.
For residents who missed out on tickets for this first celebratory event, the town is also planning a 50th-anniversary beach party 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Sunset Beach island gazebo, with a rain date of Sunday, May 19.
Highlights include barbecue and chicken tenders and music by Cheryl Z.
“Fun attire” is requested, along with chairs and blankets.
This event will be limited to the first 1,000 guests, also with a limit of two tickets per household. Tickets for this second anniversary party will be available at town hall starting April 15 and continuing through May 8 or as long as they hold out.
Plans for the town’s 50th anniversary have been under way since last year.
At their Dec. 11 workshop, town council members unanimously approved allocating up to $35,000 for the 50th-anniversary celebrations.
Plans call for banners and flags bearing the town’s new 50th-anniversary logo to be displayed on poles throughout the town. The logo incorporating both the old and new bridges was designed by Shallotte artist Bunny Lauzon.
Other planned anniversary highlights include a walking-tour brochure with map as well as a history book.
The town’s 50th-anniversary committee is preparing a time capsule as well as a “history-in-review” display that will be part of the March 26 event.
Anyone with items, pictures or ideas about things to be included in the time capsule is asked to contact committee member Herb Tinger at email@example.com.
Former Sunset Beach Mayor Ronald Klein is orchestrating a collection of relics, artifacts and memorabilia illustrating Sunset Beach’s history.
Anyone with items to loan or ideas can contact Klein at (910) 579-1354 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Klein, adding the display will probably be incorporated at a later date for six to eight months at Ingram Planetarium.
The town of Sunset Beach was incorporated through an act ratified by the North Carolina General Assembly on March 26, 1963.
According to history posted on the town website at www.sunsetbeachnc.gov, the town’s infancy dates back to 1955, a year after Hurricane Hazel devastated the region, leaving untouched the tiniest of the South Brunswick Islands then referred to as “Bald Beach.”
Mannon C. Gore bought the island from the Brooks family and renamed it Sunset Beach, later buying an additional 500 acres on the mainland from International Paper and installing the first access to the island, a pontoon swing bridge connecting across the Intracoastal Waterway.
Island property sales started in 1958. Mannon and his son, former Sunset Beach Town Councilman Ed Gore, worked together to develop the island and town.
The new Mannon C. Gore high-rise bridge connecting Sunset Beach’s mainland and island was dedicated on Oct. 1, 2010.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email email@example.com.