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The city of Sunrise Beach Village celebrates its 50th anniversary from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Civic Center, 124 Sunset Drive. Residents are invited for a night of food, drinks, and community pride. 

“We just want people to come out and celebrate with their neighbors,” Mayor Chellie Stewart told “It’s so exciting to be in our little town at this milestone. I’m really proud of the little enclave we have and the community we’ve built. It’s a community built on volunteerism.”

The city also celebrated its 25th anniversary, so it seemed fitting to have a golden anniversary party, the mayor said. The event will include champagne, appetizers, and stories from community leaders about the city’s past.

The Sunrise Beach Volunteer Fire Department, police department, cemetery group, and airport will have presentations on display for guests to peruse.

Stewart made sure to recognize the efforts of the Citizens for Community Action Association, which helped organize the event.

Sunrise Beach was founded as a resort and retirement community in 1958. Population has waxed and waned over the decades, peaking at about 1,025 in the mid-1970s. At that time, the area had motels, restaurants, and businesses to accommodate tourists. 

The lakeside community was incorporated in 1973, becoming Sunrise Beach Village. By 1990, the population had dropped to 497, and the lively resort community became a quaint retirement town. It is now on the grow again, with an estimated population of 744 in 2023, according to the city.