Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 4:18 pm | Fair 76º



Downtown Santa Barbara to Mark 50 Years

You may not remember downtown Santa Barbara, circa 1967.

Paseo Nuevo didn't exist; there was parallel parking on State Street; and people gazed into shop windows, not at small handheld devices.

And, that was the year downtown businesses came together as a community to create the Downtown Organization of Santa Barbara.

Fifty years later, downtown Santa Barbara is set to share that history and celebrate its milestones, accomplishments and successes, with the Downtown Santa Barbara 50th Anniversary Gala on April 12, presented by Fess Parker Doubletree Resort.

Since 1977, the organization has presented a “citizen of the year” award to a member of the community in recognition of his/her continuing support of Downtown Santa Barbara, the downtown district, and the residents of Santa Barbara.

Honorees have included civic leaders, social advocates, visionaries, members of the media and the arts community, and people who have made their mark in the community.

Downtown Santa Barbara has invited those honorees of previous years to be members of the Honorary 50th Gala Committee.

The gala will be co-hosted by Mayor Helene Schneider and Roger Durling, Santa Barbara International Film Festival executive director. Durling was Citizen of the Year 2004.

“It is an exciting year for Downtown Santa Barbara,” said Maggie Campbell, executive director. “Along with honoring our citizens of the year again, we’re planning to celebrate our history all year long.”

The Downtown organization is soliciting historic photos and stories from business owners through the years, as part of the 50th anniversary effort.

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

For information regarding table or other sponsor opportunities or to purchase gala tickets, contact Downtown Santa Barbara at 962-2098, ext. 804.

— Kate Schwab for Downtown Santa Barbara.


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