San Marcos looking for a signature event

City has a university, but now it’s looking for more

By Angela Lau, UNION-TRIBUNE

Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.

BRANDING SAN MARCOS

What: The City Council is trying to craft an identity for the city and holding a signature event in hopes of shaping San Marcos into a destination.

Why: Economic development

Suggestions: Attracting Padres’ minor-league team to locate at Cal State San Marcos, holding an annual Rock n’ Blues Festival, or a cycling or running event. Ramona and Poway have rodeos, Temecula has a wine festival, Escondido has hot-rod Cruisin’ Grand, Carlsbad has a marathon, and San Marcos has …

The City Council is trying to fill in the blank by encouraging its residents to organize a signature event, so when someone thinks of San Marcos, the festival pops into mind.

“This event has to be people-embraced,” Mayor Jim Desmond said. “We’re not going to come from a position of, ‘Here’s your signature event.’ We will try different events to see what citizens embrace.”

San Marcos could end up with an annual version of the Rock n’ Blues Festival held last weekend at Walnut Grove Park, some City Council members said. Sponsored by the city and Allen’s Wrench, the concert and BBQ bash attracted 800 people, double the number from last year, said Cathy Cronin, the city’s recreation supervisor. Or, the city could sponsor a PONY baseball world series, a cycling race, a 5K run or a marathon, they said.  San Marcos could even compete with North County municipalities to woo the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A minor-league team to move to Cal State San Marcos, which has been the city’s claim to fame.

The Padres didn’t comment because CEO Jeff Moorad was traveling, but university spokeswoman Margaret Lutz said the team has discussed the idea with the school. “We had one discussion, very high-level, very preliminary, very cursory,” she said. “We do have land designated for the future use of athletic fields.” San Marcos, once an agricultural community, has developed into a city of 83,000 that has a median income of $75,000. Over the years, its dairies and poultry farms have been replaced by shopping centers, office buildings and a high school. Read More from the UT

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