By Nikki Bordokas
While some citizens of Manhattan Beach have criticized the spending on Centennial c elebrations, the events thus far have been both successful and necessary in commemorating the city’s history.
Ultimately, because of the Centennial’s ability to draw massive community involvement, the festivities thus far have successfully celebrated the importance of this once-in-a-lifetime event, despite the spending some citizens have criticized.
The Centennial celebrates Manhattan Beach becoming a self-governed municipality in 1912 after previously being considered part of the city of Los Angeles.
Participation is very important when celebrating the growth of a community, which was one of the strongest aspects of the Centennial celebrations. Citizens’ attendance at these events proved their faith to their community.
The city reported that an estimated 5,000 residents attended the group photo as well as the parade. Furthermore, approximately 2,000 residents participated in the parade as part of the more than 100 entries featured.
This community unification is vital in maintaining the close-knit beach society Manhattan Beach boasts. The preservation of this bond between Manhattan Beach residents will humble citizens into recognizing the need for community with their city’s history.
Each of the Centennial’s celebrations should be planned with a family-oriented perspective so that all citizens, regardless of age, can enjoy this special event.
Unfortunately, the management of various aspects of the Centennial has brought criticism from Manhattan Beach citizens, especially regarding the funding of the events. So far, according to a publicly released city staff report, the Centennial Committee has spent over $200,000 total on planning and putting together each event, leaving the Centennial Foundation with less than $4,000 left to spend, and has asked for $35,000 more. In reaction, members of the community have expressed their disdain for more spending in support of the centennial.
However, the money spent on the centennial is inconsequential in relation to the community development and idealistic importance of the celebration. If celebration necessitates spending money, then that is something that must be faced. Failing to recognize and honor this incredible moment in Manhattan Beach’s history would be a travesty for current and future generations alike.
Regardless of criticism, the overall importance and success of the Centennial celebrations so far are astounding. Public participation in honor of the humble history of this city is both relieving and heartwarming. The overall management of the Centennial and the exceptional execution of each celebration successfully honors one of the most important parts of Manhattan Beach’s history.