OCEAN CITY – Gov. Larry Hogan joined state and local dignitaries last week to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Trimper’s Rides.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in front of the park’s iconic Herschell-Spillman carousel last Friday, the governor, Comptroller Peter Franchot, local representatives and town officials recognized Trimper’s Rides for 125 years of operation.
“This is not just a special part of Ocean City, but really for the entire state of Maryland,” Hogan said. “This is known worldwide, and we want to congratulate you very much on your 125th season.”
In 1893, Daniel Trimper and his wife, Margaret, opened the park with two hotels and a handful of amusements, including live theater, boxing matches, gambling, a shooting gallery, a roller rink and a live alligator exhibit.
In 1912, the owners purchased the park’s iconic carousel from the Herschell-Spillman Company and in the years to follow added numerous rides to the indoor portion of the amusement park, including a smaller carousel and the kiddie Ferris wheel.
By the 1950s, the Trimper family added outdoor rides – with new rides being added year after year since the mid-1960s – and in 2016, the amusement park was recognized as the oldest family-owned and operated amusement park in the U.S.
Today, the park is run by fourth and fifth generations of the Trimper family, who were in attendance for last week’s ceremony.
Stephanie Trimper Lewis, vice president of Trimper’s Rides, told the crowd her great-grandfather would be proud of the park’s growth.
“He had a vision and he saw this vision through, and I can only imagine how delighted he would be 125 years later to see how his vision has grown,” she said. “We have a constant balancing act here, treasuring the nostalgia yet adding new things. But we are so honored for 125 years, families have continued to come and include us in their family vacations. We hope and pray there are going to be 125 more years of memories made on this location.”
Franchot praised the amusement park’s economic sustainability.
“This park has been a touchstone of Ocean City for families since Daniel and Margaret Trimper invested in the Boardwalk 125 years ago …,” he said. “It leaves a positive and indelible mark on the city of Ocean City. It’s a source of great pride to the state of Maryland. It’s businesses like this that are the heart and soul of our state’s economy.”
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan noted the generations of families that have made lasting memories at Trimper’s Rides.
“There are millions and millions of people over the last 125 years that would tell you that exact same story,” he said. “That’s what makes Ocean City special. That’s what makes Trimper’s Rides so special.”
Brooks Trimper, operations manager at Trimper’s Rides, thanked officials, amusement park staff and individuals for their support.
“We are honored and humbled by the amazing show of support from our state, our city, our town, our county,” he said. “We appreciate it and hope we can have another strong 125 years.”
Following speeches, the Trimper family was presented with citations from the governor, the comptroller, the Maryland General Assembly, the town of Ocean City and the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.
Last week’s ceremony was a continuation of sorts in a year-long celebration of the park’s 125th anniversary. In June, for example, Trimper’s Rides was recognized by the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) and the American Coasters Enthusiasts for its accomplishments.