The Honorable Kevin L Faulconer, Mayor, City of San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter Association invited a group of special dignitaries, member businesses, San Diegans and visitors in the launch of a year-long celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the National Historic District. The 150th Anniversary of the settling of Alonzo Horton’s “New Town” will include several special events and a public art installation to commemorate the occasion. “The Gaslamp Quarter’s colorful history, combined with its modern-day, world-class boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, makes the urban district unlike any other. Come see for yourself why the Gaslamp Quarter is the West Coast’s premier vacation destination!” said Michael Trimble, Executive Director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association.
Mayor Faulconer, proclaimed May 24th the official 150th Anniversary of the Gaslamp Quarter. “In just 150 years, the Gaslamp Quarter has undergone a phenomenal transformation from a dusty plain to a world-renowned hub of entertainment, dining and business,” said the Mayor. “The Gaslamp continues to be a place where people from around the world celebrate San Diego and its constant evolution should give all San Diegans a reason to be excited about what’s to come.”
Amongst the backdrop of the “Historic Heart of San Diego” were also 6 different fiberglass rabbit sculptures. These rabbits, all adorned by different local artists, are part of a public art installation that will be exhibited around San Diego. The artists that unveiled their rabbits on Wednesday were: Monty Montgomery, Tasha Hobbs, Sarah Soward, Rebecca Nuvoletta, Matt Forderer, and Lee Sie. Each artist was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants who sent in an artist prospectus and catered their design to be influenced by some part of the Gaslamp’s rich 150-year history.
“Rabbitville is a fun and creative way to commemorate 150 years of Gaslamp history and showcase some of San Diego’s most talented local artists. When others saw Gaslamp as a place only for rabbits, Alonzo Horton had the courage and vision to forge ahead, creating the beginnings of one of San Diego’s most vibrant communities. After 150 years, the Gaslamp remains central to San Diego’s identity and his innovative spirt continues to inspire,” said Kris Michell, President/CEO of Downtown San Diego Partnership.
There will eventually be 15 rabbits adorned by local artists, that will be added to the herd and “hopping” around to different exhibitions around San Diego. Rabbits are available for sponsorship to those looking to help raise funds for a proposed capital improvement project to re-light Fifth Avenue. To date, Ghirardelli, Instant Callers and District 3 City Councilman Chris Ward’s office, have sponsored a rabbit, and many more are scheduled to get on board! At the event, 6 rabbits were unveiled and then 3 hopped over to “pocket park” at the William Heath Davis house for the Wild West Wednesday 150th Anniversary/ San Diego County Fair block party Wednesday night. On Saturday, May 27th The Rabbits will be at the Gaslamp Square Jazz Concert from 3-6pm.
This is just the beginning of the Gaslamp Quarter’s 150th celebration,” said Executive Director Michael Trimble, “June 3rd from 7am-9am you can’t miss the 300 head of cattle 15 cowboys and 3 dogs processing under the arch promoting the 150th and the San Diego Fair. Saturday June 17th the Taste of Gaslamp www.tasteofgaslamp.com, and then our incredible Rabbitville exhibition will be touring around San Diego for everyone to see! Go onto www.gaslamp.org/150 for all of the details!”