To mark its 100th birthday this year, Manhattan Beach has celebrated with a carnival-theme event at the mall, a food festival for paying ticketholders and a parade that stretched across town.
Still to come is a Dec. 9 fireworks show that's expected to end the milestone year with a bang.
But marking the centennial isn't all about parties; on Saturday, the city will host a daylong symposium at the Joslyn Community Center that's designed to allow for more reflection and discussion.
It will feature a documentary created by a local leadership class, a keynote presentation covering the city's early years, a moderated panel discussion with various civic leaders, and opportunities for residents to communicate their visions for the future. Former Mayor Jan Dennis, a longtime historian, will deliver the keynote address.
"Reflect on the Past, Give Meaning to the Future" runs from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Manhattan Beach City Councilman David Lesser, who has helped to organize the event with Dennis and several others, said he hopes to engage various sectors of the community in the discussions.
"This is intended to supplement the festive (centennial) events," said Lesser, who suggested the idea of a symposium earlier this year as the council debated whether to approve a fall centennial ball on the beach. (That concept, which drew controversy, was eventually canceled.
Lesser said Saturday's event will focus on the city's history but also look toward the future, offering residents a chance to talk about challenges facing the town, and how they'd like to see Manhattan Beach look in years to come.
He said people are invited to come and go during the event, which is free and will include a complimentary lunch provided by Body Glove.
In addition to Dennis, other participants are former city Mayor Russ Lesser, Body Glove president; former Mayor Steve Napolitano, a field deputy for county Supervisor Don Knabe; Nancy Hersman, a former Manhattan Beach school board member; Beverly Rohrer, former Manhattan Beach schools superintendent; Arthur Verge, a history professor at El Camino College; Judson Grenier, a historian and retired professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills; former Mira Costa High School teacher Robert Brigham; and past and current members of the Mayor's Youth Council.
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Want to go?
What:"Reflect on the Past, Give Meaning to the Future: A Community Discussion Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Manhattan Beach"
When: 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday
Where: Joslyn Community Center, 1601 Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach
More info: Admission is free. Call 310-802-5448 or link to http://bit.ly/StfOZl