Will San Diego begin its future with a whimper as it looks toward the historic 100-year anniversaries of events which shaped the region, beginning in 2015? Based upon what the public has seen concerning efforts by the city of San Diego to mark the historic milestone of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, it would certainly appear to be the case. The 1915 exposition, designed to show off the region, attracting visitors and future investors, accomplished and exceeded the goals of the business leaders shaping the region’s future.

The city’s focus on making a Balboa Park Exposition of 2015 under the guise of Balboa Park Celebration, Inc.‘s Edge 2015 theme continues to fizzle like a firecracker without any powder within it to provide a bang.

My efforts to change that over the past two years through “San Diego 2015: Celebrating a Century of Creativity, Building Toward a Millennium of Sustainability” have been stymied by the city’s lack of support, as have the efforts of others with a desire to see our region become more than a backwater in the corner of the U.S. — much as the leaders of 100 years ago tried to inject prosperity into our region.

I propose that the San Diego region enter 2015 with gusto and verve, buoyed by a groundswell of residents that want to make a difference in their lives and those of their descendants. On Oct. 12, The Horseless Carriage Club would fire up their pre-1916 vintage automobiles and bring them to Liberty Station before traveling the historic 1915 Point Loma race course route out to Cabrillo National Monument’s centennial celebration weekend. This event plan is still underway and will grow based upon interest from the public. Would it not be a great thing to have Jay Leno bring down some of his vintage automobiles and be the master of ceremonies?

In 1915 a grand race was held and the world’s fastest cars came to San Diego, generating enough interest that 50,000 people paid $1 each. Is it time to have a party and help create a future that the San Diego Region can be proud of? Having lived here since 1958, I say yes, it is time.

Visit www.SanDiego2015.com to learn more about the planning and how you can participate.

Kevin Swanson lives in San Diego.

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