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Business

50th Birthday a Golden Opportunity for Downtown Santa Barbara

Party planners hoping to mine memories of former Citizens of Year

State Street undergoing rebuild in 1969-70.
State Street undergoing rebuild in 1969-70. (Downtown Santa Barbara)

Celebrating your golden anniversary is an historic occasion for anyone, but when you represent a 1,500-plus member business improvement district, you’d best go all out with your party. And at 50 years young, that is what Downtown Santa Barbara intends to do on Wednesday, April 12.

“This is a once-in-our-lifetime event,” said Maggie Campbell, DSB executive director. “We plan to celebrate not only our accomplishments and milestones, but our history as well.

"And we’re very fortunate to have Mayor Helene Schneider and Roger Durling, executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, on board as our honorary co-chairs.”

Joining Campbell onstage as co-host for the evening’s program will be Marshall Rose, former DSB executive director and current owner of Hollister Brewing Company.

Preparations for the Downtown Santa Barbara 50th Anniversary Gala, presented by Fess Parker Doubletree Resort, include culling through archives for photos, articles, anecdotes and, perhaps most importantly, reconnecting with a particularly important and inspiring group of individuals:

Forty years of past Citizens of the Year (COY).

This annual award, bestowed upon civic and community leaders from the arts, media, business, city government and more, will take center stage during the gala.

“We’ve been reaching out to former COY, seeking their input as well as their memories,” said Campbell.

These former COY are providing a visual history of their contributions to Santa Barbara for the Gala Honor Wall sponsored by Southern California Edison. Additionally, organizations are encouraged to sponsor a table in honor of a specific COY, as well as their company or organization.

David Damiano, 2012 Citizen of the Year, served on the DSB Board of Directors from 2003-11, and as board president, 2009-10). When he passed away in 2012, the board honored him for his volunteer work.

“We proudly honor the memory of David, Santa Barbara MTD’s former manager of transit development and community relations, and dedicated board member of DSB,” said Jerry Estrada, MTD general manager.

“David’s contributions to our community and to downtown specifically continue to live on in countless ways,” he said.

“Along with honoring our Citizens of the Year again, we’re planning to celebrate our history all year long,” said Campbell.

Downtown Santa Barbara is soliciting historic photos and stories from business owners and residents through the years, as part of the 50th Anniversary effort.

Also on the gala agenda: annual Downtown Awards, including 2016 Citizen of the Year, 2016 Volunteer of the Year, and Harriet Miller Youth Leadership Award.

For information regarding table or other sponsor opportunities, or to buy tickets,  contact DSB at 962-2098, ext. 804.

— Kate Schwab for Downtown Santa Barbara.

 

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