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Don’t trample the streetscape, Santa

Chula Vista plans the next Starlight Parade…probably around revamped Third Avenue

The Starlight Parade may be returning to western Chula Vista. For many years, thousands of families lined the sidewalks of Third Avenue waiting for Santa Claus to arrive; however, when economic times got tough, the parade was de-funded.

At the June 17 Chula Vista City Council meeting, the parade subcommittee (councilmembers Patricia Aguilar and Rudy Ramirez) secured a promise of $15,000 seed money to bring the parade back — but not without some surprising resistance.

Third Avenue is western Chula Vista’s main drag. Like a classy Cadillac in a side yard, the street is waiting to be restored to its former beauty and vitality. In the past two years, approximately $6 million was spent revamping a portion of Third Avenue’s streetscape.

At the June 17 meeting, councilmember Pamela Bensoussan was reticent to support

the return of the parade because she has heard from some members of the Third

Avenue Village Association (TAVA) that the parade “was not an event that was good for the village” and that TAVA members feared parade-goers would trample the new streetscape.

Councilmember Aguilar responded, “I find that ironic because here [the city] did all this beautiful landscaping and hardscaping to make Third Avenue a people place, but we can’t have people there.”

The stated mission of the Third Avenue Village Association is “to create, promote, and champion a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly destination leading to increased sales, property values and community pride.”

This conversation on the dais also prompted a comment from councilmember Mary Salas. She said a recent forum at the library demonstrated that “People are craving events that build community.” Salas lamented the loss of the vintage car show, which used to be held on Third Avenue every Thursday in the summer months. Salas challenged the Third Avenue group and the chamber of commerce “to get on the ball” and do some community building.

Aguilar went on to suggest that perhaps the city might guarantee the landscape and hardscape, or she suggested the parade might go down F Street, only crossing an intersection of Third Avenue.

Ramirez said that it is important to organize the event so it assists the merchants on Third Avenue, but he also said the parade is about “families, kids, and civic pride.”

In the end, Aguilar and Ramirez got the $15,000 seed money with the proviso they raise matching funds. The funding will be used, in part, to hire a professional event organizer.

Both Aguilar and Ramirez felt there would be no problem raising the funds; Ramirez said the parade could happen this December.

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The Starlight Parade may be returning to western Chula Vista. For many years, thousands of families lined the sidewalks of Third Avenue waiting for Santa Claus to arrive; however, when economic times got tough, the parade was de-funded.

At the June 17 Chula Vista City Council meeting, the parade subcommittee (councilmembers Patricia Aguilar and Rudy Ramirez) secured a promise of $15,000 seed money to bring the parade back — but not without some surprising resistance.

Third Avenue is western Chula Vista’s main drag. Like a classy Cadillac in a side yard, the street is waiting to be restored to its former beauty and vitality. In the past two years, approximately $6 million was spent revamping a portion of Third Avenue’s streetscape.

At the June 17 meeting, councilmember Pamela Bensoussan was reticent to support

the return of the parade because she has heard from some members of the Third

Avenue Village Association (TAVA) that the parade “was not an event that was good for the village” and that TAVA members feared parade-goers would trample the new streetscape.

Councilmember Aguilar responded, “I find that ironic because here [the city] did all this beautiful landscaping and hardscaping to make Third Avenue a people place, but we can’t have people there.”

The stated mission of the Third Avenue Village Association is “to create, promote, and champion a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly destination leading to increased sales, property values and community pride.”

This conversation on the dais also prompted a comment from councilmember Mary Salas. She said a recent forum at the library demonstrated that “People are craving events that build community.” Salas lamented the loss of the vintage car show, which used to be held on Third Avenue every Thursday in the summer months. Salas challenged the Third Avenue group and the chamber of commerce “to get on the ball” and do some community building.

Aguilar went on to suggest that perhaps the city might guarantee the landscape and hardscape, or she suggested the parade might go down F Street, only crossing an intersection of Third Avenue.

Ramirez said that it is important to organize the event so it assists the merchants on Third Avenue, but he also said the parade is about “families, kids, and civic pride.”

In the end, Aguilar and Ramirez got the $15,000 seed money with the proviso they raise matching funds. The funding will be used, in part, to hire a professional event organizer.

Both Aguilar and Ramirez felt there would be no problem raising the funds; Ramirez said the parade could happen this December.

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Comments
5

Third Avenue - 'Christmas' (oops not a politically correct term)/Starlight Parade go hand in hand.

Next thing you know they will be moving it to Olympic Parkway - for some strange reason 'old' Chula Vista has become a bad word (make that 3 bad words).

I have fond memories of this communities families celebrating the season and their community as they gathered on both sides of Third Avenue - clapping for the students who proudly marched with their school colors. Brownie /Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts with smiles from ear to ear as they walked and looked for the loving faces of family members.

Ah but that was before landscapes took priority over the taxpaying community.

June 20, 2014

Bensoussan's attitude reminds me of the type of school librarian who really doesn't want anyone to check books out--or a recreation coordinator who would rather the facilities stay unused--it is so much more orderly that way!

June 20, 2014

I own a business on Third Ave along the route. It is a great event for the community and families! It also showcases those businesses on Third to those that don't normally go downtown. This tradition needs to continue. A few rotten apples should not ruin a great event for many businesses, families, and the Chula Vista Community at large!

June 21, 2014

Yea, Mary you got it right!

June 21, 2014

Chula Vista is my home town and I could not be prouder. Driving down good old Third Avenue brings back a truck load of fond memories. Friday night football games followed by pizza at LaBella's and Saturday it was the Vogue. Back then you could walk from place to place have fun then be picked up by mom or dad.

June 22, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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