Ocean City Today
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Sandcastle Home Tour, Sept. 22-23

By Kara Hallissey | Sep 14, 2017
This beautiful home in Ocean City will be one of the ten homes featured on the Sandcastle Home Tour slated for next Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Sept. 15, 2017) A bayside townhome and an oceanfront condominium are just a few of the private residences in Ocean City and Ocean Pines visitors can check out during the Art League of Ocean City’s 13th annual Sandcastle Home Tour, slated for next Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The self-guided tour takes participants to a variety of residences at their own pace, from family and retirement to vacation homes in the resort and Ocean Pines, with proceeds benefiting the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street.

“You get a lot of great decoration ideas and it showcases the many different ways people live in our area,” said Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League of Ocean City. “This is the first time we are having the event on Friday and Saturday. Anyone visiting for Sunfest can go on the tour. It is a fun outing and something different.”

The event is limited to the first 1,000 people. The cost is $30, with 10 homes featured on the tour including a small cottage, notable households featured in magazines and on HGTV, in addition to a home owned by the Phillips [Seafood] family.

“We had Shirley and Brice’s [Phillips] house on the tour [in the past] and now their grandson and his wife’s home will be featured this year,” Thaler said. “[It has become] a family tradition, opening their homes to the community.”

Limiting the number of tickets to 1,000 makes it exclusive, eliminates lines at the houses and allows for a route to follow. Tickets sell out every year, but there are usually a few available the day of the event.

“[A featured home] in Ocean Pines, [the couple] retired down here,” Thaler said. “Their children and grandchildren come and visit. It has a neat format.”

The new and recently revamped residences on the tour are referred to organizers by local home improvement builders, interior decorators and architects.

There will be 240 volunteer docents who will staff each home during the two-day event to guide visitors through the rooms and outdoor spaces in addition to answer questions about the residence. Organizers are looking for volunteers to staff the homes on Saturday. They will receive a $10 discount on admission for donating their time.

“So many people help out and it shows what a great community we live in,” Thaler said. “People want to move here. The tour has great ideas. Instead of watching on television, you can go in the homes and see for yourself.”

Nine florists and local garden club members completed arrangements for each home. In addition, 10  artists painted portraits of each house as a gift to the homeowners, which will also be on display in the homes.

“Do it because it’s fun and for a good cause,” Thaler said. “A lot of husbands and wives, and girlfriends, spend the day together. Go out to lunch, make a day or weekend out of it.”

Festivities kicked off on Sept. 13 with a “Peace, Love and Art” cocktail party to honor the homeowners.

The home tour helped fund the creation of the four-year-old Arts Center on 94th Street and continues to benefit the nonprofit with ticket sales going toward sustaining the building and providing programs.

“Funds from the tour helped build the Art League and the event continues to sustain the Arts Center by allowing it to be open and free to the public,” Thaler said.

A gift certificate raffle is also taking place with 10 prizes from local restaurants up for grabs. Tickets cost $1 each, get six for $5 or 14 for $10.

The Commander Hotel is sponsoring the bags handed out to participants and Atlantic General Hospital is providing protective shoe coverings to safeguard the floors of homes on the tour.

“We are grateful to the businesses for the ads in the tour books and for donating the gift certificates,” Thaler said.

The Sandcastle Home Tour takes place Sept. 22-23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $30 per person and the 64-page tour book is the ticket, which includes driving directions, descriptions and pictures of the houses in addition to advertisements, coupons, special offers and lunch specials.

“This is a great opportunity for people who wanted to go [in the past] and couldn’t because they are only here on weekends,” Thaler said.

Participants can pick up their guidebooks at the Art League of Ocean City at any time to start planning routes.

Tickets can be purchased at www.artleagueofoceancity.org, by calling 410-524-9433 or visiting the Ocean City Center of the Arts on 94th Street.

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