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Downtown’s Historic Horton Plaza Park Opens

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at Horton Plaza park rededication

Five years in the making, Downtown San Diego’s $17M, 1.9-acre Horton Plaza Park officially reopened yesterday, with Mayor Kevin Faulconer rededicating the park, kicking off a weekend of festivities. Evening events began with the first in a series of “Park Unplugged” live music performances by local bands, which included William Close and the Earth Harp Collective the dynamic choral ensemble Sacra Profana and LA based interactive DJ/Band SoulCirque.

Workers preparing for the Horton Plaza Park reopening celebration.

Improvement to the 146-year-old community gathering place includes an amphitheater; retail pavilions that serve food and beverages; restoration of the interactive fountain with colored lights; an ArtsTix booth, a ticket center and information center for local attractions and cultural events; and new public restrooms, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The new park is the result of an agreement between Westfield Corp, which operates the adjacent Horton Plaza mall, and the city. Westfield demolished a Robinsons-May store in 2012 and agreed to sell the site to the city in exchange for ending a profit-sharing arrangement with the city at Horton Plaza’s parking garage. Westfield has agreed to operate and manage the park for 25 years.

Earth Harp Collective and Sacra Profana Choir performing at Horton Plaza Park reopening celebration.

The celebration continues through Sunday with Park Unplugged performances and Park Play — games and activities for all ages. Whimsical street artist Kelsey Montagu, known for her #whatliftsyou angel wing movement, is creating a temporary art installation live onsite. Food and beverages are offered by food trucks, the park’s new pavilions and two temporary beer gardens. The park will host hundreds of similar events and activities throughout the year. Check out the full schedule here. [SDUT]