(Aug. 17, 2018) Trimper’s Rides will commemorate its 125th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and park-wide celebration starting at noon today, Friday.
Public officials and dignitaries such as Gov. Larry Hogan, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Comptroller Peter Franchot are scheduled to make an appearance during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will take place in front of the carousel in the indoor amusement building on the Boardwalk near the inlet.
“We’re looking forward to the governor taking time out of his schedule to come,” Trimper’s Operations Manager Brooks Trimper said. “He honored us a few years ago when we were announced the oldest family-owned amusement park in the country and we’re pretty blessed he’s able to come again and honor us for our 125th anniversary.”
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the entire park will be opened to the public at 1 p.m., where giveaways will be awarded throughout the day.
“We want to make it special for people who come on [that] day to have a different experience than they do every other day,” Trimper said.
Wristbands to enjoy the 36 rides and 18 games and attractions available at the park will be offered at a discounted price of $18. Special merchandise commemorating the 125th anniversary will be available for purchase.
Trimper, now 38, has been working at his family’s amusement park since he was 12 years old.
“I am just one of the family members that run our park,” Trimper said. “There are many of us here from the fourth and fifth generation that are closely involved in keeping this park running.”
Of the 4,000-plus amusement parks that have existed in the U.S., Trimper’s is one of only 13 to have reached the 125-year milestone. Only 10 of those are still in existence.
Trimper’s is the oldest family-run amusement park in the country, and the second oldest in the world, according to National Amusement Park Historical Association historian Jim Futrell. The oldest family-run amusement park in the world is Blackgang Chine in England, which opened in 1842.
Trimper’s beginnings date back to 1891, when Daniel and Margaret Trimper migrated from Baltimore and purchased two of the first three hotels in Ocean City – the Eastern Shore and the Sea Bright.
“In my lifetime it’s certainly grown because the Tidal Wave was the largest addition, and then Marty’s Playland was purchased when I was very young,” Trimper said. “The [major] change in the industry is everything used to be mechanical and now everything is electronic.”
In 1912, the Trimpers purchased the massive carousel, which still operates today inside the 700 South Atlantic Avenue location, from the Herschell-Spillman Company in New York.
“It’s definitely great to see how happy people are and the memories they’re making and repeating,” Trimper said. “I have people tell me all the time, ‘Well this was my favorite ride as a kid and now my daughter’s riding that ride, or my granddaughter’s riding that ride.’ It’s great to hear those stories and to know we’re part of their family tradition and they’re making memories with their children that they did with their parents [too].”
The amusement park’s indoor entertainment on 700 South Atlantic Avenue is open from 1-11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12-11 p.m. Saturday through Sunday. The outdoor park between South First and Worcester street is open every day from 3-11 p.m.
For more information about Trimper’s, visit https://trimpersrides.com.