Plans for Balboa Park Centennial unveiled

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SAN DIEGO – The 2015 Balboa Park Centennial Celebration will be based around four major shows that will hopefully draw international attention to San Diego, the producers of the events said Tuesday.

At a news conference to unveil programming plans for the 100th anniversary, producers Phil Green and Adam Burke said a series of “spectaculars” would anchor the celebration.

balboa.jpg“The big shows, elements that hundreds of thousands of people can participate in and watch — these are the ones that draw the eyes of the world to San Diego,” said Green.

Green and Burke are event producers working with Autonomy, the company hired to put on the year-long celebration.

Green revealed three of the major events — a water show to honor the Navy and Port of San Diego, a made-for-television concert at Friendship Park on the U.S.-Mexico border featuring musical acts from both countries, and a gala weekend with people dressed in period clothes and dancing to period music.

“The idea is that the entire park will come to life the way it was in 1915,” Green said.

Green added that the Spreckels Organ Pavilion will be given world-class sound and lighting.

Organizers said the fourth event will be a surprise.  But they promised many other events that will take place throughout the year, including thought-provoking presentations and international festivals.

“It’s going to be more than a party, it’s going to celebrate who we are as a city” said San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. “We are going to invite the world.”

The mayor said visitors will also see how the city leads in business sectors like health, communications and alternative energy, strong arts and culture, and how San Diego is a border city that celebrates its binational relationships.

He estimated it would cost $30 million to get the celebration “off the ground,” $50 million to make it good and $100 million for it to be spectacular.

 “We have great expectations for raising enough money to make this happen,” Filner said.

Burke said programming plans can be scaled to how much funding is received.

 Filner said the events would kick off with a welcoming celebration on Dec. 31, 2014.

Green added that the Spreckels Organ Pavilion will be given world-class sound and lighting.

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