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Balboa Park Centennial Plans To Leverage December Nights, Offer Two Other Major Events

Evening Edition

The Balboa Park centennial celebration will be centered around the December Nights festival and two other major special events, which should create a lasting legacy for the facility, San Diego city officials said Friday.

December Nights will kick off the celebration this fall and end the festivities near the end of 2015. The other two major events will take place in the spring and summer to highlight San Diego's culture, people and lifestyle, but details were not announced.

"This will be an event by San Diegans, for San Diegans," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

Plans for a yearlong series of activities that would draw national and international visitors collapsed after a citizen's group failed to attract enough private investment. Balboa Park Celebration Inc. is in the processing of disbanding amid questions of what the city got in return for its $2.6 million investment.

On Wednesday, the City Council's Environment Committee requested financial and performance audits of BPCI.

"One of the things that I think got lost over the past several years is why we wanted to have a centennial celebration in the first place," Faulconer said. "It's not about holding a grand spectacle that attracts kings and queens to San Diego. This celebration is about honoring the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition that put our city on the world map."

The mayor said the reformulated plan is "more practical and realistic."

It also includes exhibitions already being planned by the park's various cultural institutions, improvements to facilities and landscaping, and a collaboration with San Diego Gas & Electric and CleanTech San Diego to install energy efficient decorative lighting throughout the park.

SDG&E also committed to improving energy efficiency at 10 museums.

The city's Tourism Marketing District -- which promotes San Diego as a vacation destination -- announced plans to highlight Balboa Park in future promotional campaigns.

"Together, we have committed to moving forward with a celebration that is achievable, manageable, that is good for our city and great for our park," City Council President Todd Gloria said.

He said the celebrations, combined, should set up the park for its next 100 years.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 28, 2014 at 2:14 p.m. ― 8 months ago

America's largest CowTown.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 28, 2014 at 4:19 p.m. ― 8 months ago

I think I speak for many when I say this plan blows.

Can we outsource the mayor ?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 29, 2014 at 9:27 a.m. ― 8 months ago

And in other news, SeaWorld, the animal circus that profits off of work prison camps for sea mammals, has advanced in the Worst Company Contest:

http://consumerist.com/2014/03/28/seaworld-edges-out-ticketmaster-joins-walmart-in-worst-company-quarterfinals/

So let's take pause and look at our city leaders for a moment.

They failed to oversee the centennial planning groups who squandered millions of dollars of tax-payer funds.

They are now proposing a lackluster event that will further embarrass the city.

While not being competent enough to oversee our largest cultural attraction, Balboa Park, they have been extremely focused on pandering to SeaWorld Corporation, Inc. by declaring "SeaWorld month" and pimping themselves out to the corporation's propaganda events.

Money truly does rule at city hall. SeaWorld pays the city $14 million in rent each year whereas Balboa Park costs the city money to maintain. So, it's no surprise whatsoever that a group of people who put money above all else would fail to oversee our most important cultural jewel but use city business to prop-up a controversial corporation and declare months after said corporation which is in a high profile contest with the likes of WalMart, Bank of America, and Comcast to be named Worst Company in America.

Is THIS the type of city we want to be known as?

One that is unable to give our cultural core a proper centennial celebration, but rather spends their time coddling a corporation engaged in animal cruelty?

The leadership in this city has failed us, and I'm embarrassed to be a San Diegan right now.

The nation doesn't see us as a cultural getaway, we are seen as the city where the former mayor fondled people and where orcas are imprisoned and forced to perform circus tricks.

And these idiots think they can make a successful bid to host the Olympic Games?

Wow, just W O W.

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Avatar for user 'ctrelease'

ctrelease | March 29, 2014 at 1:38 p.m. ― 8 months ago

Just as long as the upgrade all the bathrooms in the park. It wouldn't be a bad idea to add twice the number of bathrooms.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | March 31, 2014 at 1:17 p.m. ― 7 months, 4 weeks ago

City Hall doesn't just kowtow to Sea World. Politicians pander to the rich elites who sit on the boards of the Zoo, the Balboa Park museums and the Old Globe. Those are big campaign contributors, helping explain why the Zoo is subsidized with taxpayer dollars and why the big park institutions have $1 a year leases on the facilities they operate, while the city funds all maintenance costs with yet more taxpayer dollars. Why spend tax money on fixing potholes when you can use it to feather the nests of big campaign contributors?

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Avatar for user 'Syntropic'

Syntropic | April 1, 2014 at 6:54 p.m. ― 7 months, 4 weeks ago

No Vision, no reason to support their lack of vision.
Their actions could be considered illegal if not criminal.
"Scam" - pay no attention to the Republicans pulling the strings that got Mayor Faulconer elected.

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