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We’re not called the Hidden Coast for nothin’

Ocean Shores Twinkie-Palooza – It’s Party Time!

foggy hidden coast scenic byway header

What does Ocean Shores have to do with Twinkies, you ask?

I’ll get to that in a minute but first…

Meet Bob Ward:

First Ocean Shores, Washing City Council

First City Council, Bob is on the left.

On the Harbor; From Black Friday to Nirvana, explains Bob like this:

“Ocean Shores, created by investors along the north coast of Grays Harbor in 1960, was the product of committee. But if there was a founder in spirit that man was Bob Ward, the fun-loving press agent whose off-the-wall promotions literally put Ocean Shores on the map.”

Bob Ward is my hero.

Hired early by the original Ocean Shores investors, Bob arrived in 1961 after a long run as a reporter for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. For the next fourteen years Bob did a lot around here from newspaper publishing to first city council member.

But what Bob is most known for (according to On the Harbor) is “turning flacking for Ocean Shores into an art form.” Not sure what flacking is? Neither was I. Turns out, it’s a fancy way to say, “publicizing or promoting.”

I love Bob. He specialized in creating unforgettable experiences – in a good way – which is exactly what I aspire to do. Don’t we all?

I also love Bob because as official ideator of the Ocean Shores party brigade and undeniable life of the party, he had a heavy hand in everything that Ocean Shores was in the 60s and early 70s.

Take a minute to ponder that…

Right. That makes Bob the official foundational undercurrent of the culture this community was built on. And it means Bob started all the fun that we remember as kids which is why a lot of us still come back as adults. Similar to Anthony Bourdain who also left us longing for a good party, Bob’s spirit is alive and well here today.

Hi Bob!

First Annual Undiscovery Day:

April 27, 1969

Bob invented reasons to celebrate and one of the best examples I found so far is Undiscovery Day. After a (um) questionable degree of research, Bob ‘discovered’ that on April 27, 1792 Captain George Vancouver, explorer extraordinaire, sailed the HMS Discovery past Ocean Shores without bothering to stop.

Captain George VancouverOh Em Gee, George, whatever were you thinking?!

As the story goes, at the inaugural event in 1969, Bob and friends who’d been bellied up to the bar took a quick midnight field trip to the beach where in unison they began yelling out to sea, “Hey George!” as if the spirit of Captain Vancouver would hear their mayhem and realize his mistake.

For the next quarter-century, every April in Ocean Shores fun-seekers celebrated Undiscovery Day and it was a big deal. So much so that in 1986, the city declared the last Saturday of April as the day to officially celebrate our undiscovery.

Meet Hostess Twinkies:

Hostess Seattle 2010 – 434 Dexter Avenue N.

If you’re from the PNW you probably know the Seattle-Tacoma corridor has roots in culinary excellence. Almond Roca, Nally’s, Roman Meal, Johnny’s, Carnation Milk, Obertos, and Starbucks all started here among others. And then there were food companies HQ’d elsewhere with manufacturing and distribution facilities in Seattle, which is the Hostess story.

Twinkies were invented in 1930 but it wasn’t until the 1950s that Howdy Doody turned them into the beloved superfood of children everywhere. The Seattle location opened in the 40s and for seven decades Hostess churned out sugary snack cakes in the PNW.

Yum.

2012 changed all that. Hostess filed for bankruptcy and the fate of Twinkies hung in the balance. Seattle operations shut down. News stations declared the end of the little cream filled sponge cake and the masses freaked out. Uh-oh, Houston… there’s a big problem!

Life lesson #256: Never underestimate the power of the masses or the Twitter-sphere.

People started selling Twinkies online for thousands of dollars and Twitter went nuts with folks ranting. The whole thing was a massive flacker for spongy goodness.

Within six months Twinkies were back on the conveyor belt. Phew!

Ocean Shores Twinkie-Palooza:

A Salute to Bob

Can you see where this is going? If Ocean Shores were a bakery, Bob would be its Twinkie. Ha! And we, the enjoyers of fun, should celebrate the connection. So, the next time you see or eat a Twinkie, salute Bob! And if you’re coming to Ocean Shores, we’ve got a treat for you…

In the spirit of Bob, you can curate your own Twinkie-Palooza, right here in town. Ready?

1. Ocean Shores IGA 101 E Chance a La Mer NE, Ocean Shores, WA 98569 (map)

(Of course) the local grocer has boxes of classic Twinkies. They’re next to the front door; towards the bottom shelf (probably because Twinkies are famous and don’t need top shelf placement, am I right?)

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2. Buddy and Howie’s Old Fashioned Sweet Shoppe 739 Point Brown Ave NW, Ocean Shores, WA 98569 (map)

Buddy and Howie’s [Candy Candy Candy] Shoppe has chocolate covered Twinkies. Yes, I tried them. Be careful. It’s a milk chocolate, sugar coma of goodness. They also have chocolate covered Oreos if Twinkies aren’t your thing.

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 3. Oyhut Bay Fresh Market 131 Oyhut Bay Blvd SW Suite A, Ocean Shores, WA 98569 (map)

Oyhut Bay Fresh Market is where you’ll find Twinkie ice cream. Can you believe that?! No, I haven’t tried it but please let me know if you do!

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And that, my friend is #WhyOceanShores. Now get out there, raise a Twinkie, and channel your inner Bob!