Starting the celebration early

Although still more than three months away, organizers are gearing up for "100 Ways to Celebrate Burbank" for the city's upcoming centennial.

Set to start with a send-off party for the Burbank Tournament of Roses float on Dec. 31, the city has a master list of proposed events for the length of 2011, including yearlong initiatives, cooperation with annual events and special celebrations throughout the calendar year.

In addition to proposed citywide promotions, such as "I LOVE BURBANK" pins from the Civic Pride Committee, collectible bookmarks and centennial library cards and continued support for the Downtown Burbank Farmers Market, staff will coordinate a "Party of the Century" and "Let's Move Burbank" during the year.

"Our priority is to maximize the resources the city already has," said Gaby Flores, deputy director for the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department. "We want to collaborate with existing events, like Burbank on Parade and National Night Out, in addition to these milestone events."

Burbank's "Party of the Century" will celebrate the anniversary of the city's incorporation on July 8 with the removal of a time capsule planted by the city. The time capsule is located to the right of the main Olive Avenue entrance to City Hall and was sealed in 1986. The plaque states that it is to be opened in 2011 during the city's centennial celebration.

A section of San Fernando Boulevard will also be closed to accommodate stages for entertainment representing various decades, and an air parade will fill the sky as a tribute to Burbank's aviation history. City officials are in talks with the Burbank studios about coordinating celebrity guests.

"Let's Move Burbank" represents a partnership with the city and Burbank Unified School District to become involved with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign in support of healthy lifestyles.

Obstacle courses, dance competitions and activity clinics will culminate a yearlong commitment by the city and the schools, as well as local grocery and health food stores and gyms, to improve Burbank residents' quality of life, Flores said.

Mayor Anja Reinke and the newly formed Cultural Arts Commission will also be involved with the fall Downtown Burbank Arts Festival and Arts Day next year as part of the centennial plan.

"It's the perfect time for the new commission to partner with the city to show the residents how great the arts are in Burbank," Reinke said after the commission was approved.

According to the city, no additional funds from the 2010-11 budget will need to be appropriated to coordinate the proposed events. During the budget approval process for this fiscal year, the City Council approved $75,000, as well as $59,270 in carryover funds from the prior year.

The city plans to supplement the efforts with Centennial Sponsorship Program support, community-based donations and revenue from promotional items linked to the celebration.

Flores said the city hopes to engage mid-size businesses that may not have given to the city through other progams, instead of just the usual supporters, such as Burbank Water and Power or Bob Hope Airport.

Residents will also have the opportunity to have their names commemorated on a centennial walkway or wall. The city is still trying to determine a location.

"It is our sincere hope that this upcoming year of events showcases and celebrates the generations of wonderful people who have created Burbank," City Manager Mike Flad said. "For so many of us, the history of Burbank is the history of our families and friends."

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