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City of San Marcos 50th Anniversary of Incorporation

The City will kick off the yearlong 50th anniversary celebration at the January 22nd City Council Meeting.  Many events will follow throughout the year including a special exhibit of artifacts and memorabilia in the museum.  The opening of the 50th anniversary exhibit will be start with an Open House and Birthday celebration at Heritage Park on January 26th from 2pm-4pm.

 Video to celebrate San Marcos’
50th anniversary
By Chris Nichols6 a.m.Jan. 21, 2013
The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN MARCOS — The San Marcos Historical Society is set to present a short video Tuesday night showcasing longtime residents and key leaders from the city’s past, as a kickoff to San Marcos’ 50th anniversary celebration.

It's set to air at the start of the 6 p.m. City Council meeting at San Marcos City Hall, 1 Civic Center Drive.

The video is an early version of what organizers hope will eventually be a 90-minute tribute to the city’s farm town past and its rapid progression into a bustling suburban and educational center.

“We want this to be a project that would go down in the city’s history, a sort of time capsule,” said Kirk Effinger, who recently joined the historical society’s board and writes a San Marcos opinion column for U-T San Diego.

San Marcos is home to 85,000 residents and is highly regarded for its parks, trails, schools and colleges, including Palomar College and Cal State San Marcos. It was one of California’s fastest growing cities in the 1980s and 1990s, rising from a population that hovered near 4,000 in the early 1960s, and a landscape dominated by dairy and chicken farms and mobile home parks.

Some of the key players in the city’s rise are featured in the early version of the video. Interviewees include Lionel “Doc” Burton, a former San Marcos mayor and team doctor for the San Marcos High School football team; Merry Williams, who is from one of San Marcos’ pioneer families; and Rick Gittings, a former San Marcos city manager who is credited with guiding the community through its rapid growth in the 1990s and early 2000s.

By the end of the project, Effinger said, the historical society hopes to include interviews with 50 people, a nod to the city’s 50th anniversary of incorporation.

There’s no set list for who will be included. But organizers are looking for representatives both old and young from the city’s business and political circles, community service groups and its education centers, said Tanis Brown, president of the historical society.

The project has received help from students at San Marcos High School’s digital media production class. John Greenway, who teaches the class, said his students have filmed the early interviews, set up lighting and microphones and are “very excited” about the video.

Effinger said the historical society hopes to raise about $15,000 for the all-volunteer project. That money would pay for cameras and lighting equipment, which the high school cannot provide for the rest of the project, he said. The students, he said, are welcome to continue contributing.

Once completed, organizers hope to showcase the video on a yet-to-be purchased kiosk to be housed at the historical society’s museum at Walnut Grove Park.