Downtown Burbank’s most festive holiday tradition for outdoor ice skating and special performances, The Rink in Downtown Burbank, returns from December 12th, 2019 through January 5th, 2020. Transforming the corner of N Third Street and E Orange Grove Avenue into a magical winter wonderland for skaters of all ages, The Rink is a great way to celebrate the holidays!
The Rink will be open Sunday thru Thursday from 10:00am – 10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10:00am – 11:00pm. Admission is $12, skate rentals are $5, and ‘Bobby the Seal’ skate-aid rentals are $8. For even more fun, the Rink is just steps away from hundreds of shops and restaurants decked out for the holiday season, including a festive 36-foot-tallwalk-thru holiday tree, making Downtown Burbank a holiday wonderland. Other special Downtown Burbank holiday festivities include:
- The Mayor’s Tree Lighting – Saturday, December 7th 6:00pm on the steps of City Hall at 275 E Olive Avenue
- Breakfast with Santa – Saturday, December 14th 8:30am – 10:00am. Enjoy breakfast with Santa, holiday music, crafts, and fun at the Burbank Town Center. Tickets are $13 each, call 818-238-5435 to purchase a ticket or for more information.
- Learn to Ice Skate – Classes taught by Pickwick Ice Center instructors are available on Saturdays for $25, lessons include skate rental and skate session entry.
- Learn to Curl – With Hollywood Curling on December 15th and January 5th, admission is $20.
Also, on Saturdays from 8:00am to 12:30pm, be sure to visit Downtown Burbank’s Farmer’s Market located across the street from The Rink, behind the Community Services Building.
Free parking is available at several structures and lots in Downtown Burbank.
Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, along with some very special guests, welcomed City residents to kick off the holiday season with the annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday, December 7, on the steps of City Hall.
Gabel-Luddy was joined onstage by fellow City Councilmembers Jess Talamantes, Bob Frutos, Sharon Springer and Tim Murphy, along with State Senator Anthony Portantino’s rep Arda Tchakian, and special guest Congressman Adam Schiff.
The night featured musical performances by a capella group Muses from John Burroughs High School and dance performances in the spirit of the season by RC Dance Studio and Garri Dance Studio.
Gabel-Luddy said, “Burbank is one of my favorite places to be, and I am so happy to be at such a great event again this year.”
One of Burbank’s official sponsors, Disney Studios, sent out Minnie and Mickey Mouse, who arrived in an authentic 1960’s Mustang to make the whole holiday experience even more cheerful. A few minutes later, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived on a fire truck and then walked down the red carpet to the stage to greet everyone.
Finally, it was time to light the tree. Suspense was building up, and then all of a sudden, everyone in attendance cheered when the light of the tree glistened in the night sky.
Santa and Mrs. Claus stayed on site until 8:00 p.m. to hear young children’s Christmas wishes.
Woody Martin, a local resident, said “In my opinion this was an amazing Christmas time event, the entertainment was very good. There is only one thing I would like to see next year and that is a bigger tree.”
As winter starts to close in, more and more festive events take place, one of which being Burbank’s annual Holiday In The Park. This year marked the 31st year of this event, making it one of Burbank’s longest-standing holiday traditions.
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Magnolia Blvd. was shut down from Hollywood Way to Florence Street., filling the streets with holiday festive activities, music, food, vintage cars, and vendors and plenty of people.
The South Hills Church was by far one of the biggest vendors with bouncy houses, photo booths, and fun kid-friendly activities. Deryck Artero, a member of the South Hills Church, said that “The reason South Hills joins this event is that we are all about loving the 818, seeing our community thrive, and giving back to the community.”
As night fell upon the event there was fabulous live music and performances including by Garri Dance Studio, Aspen Wood (@aspenwoodofficial), The Mexican Azteca Dance Group (@mexico_azteca_burbank), School Of Rock (@schoolofrockburbank), bringing much holiday spirit and joy to the event.
In addition, Burbank’s own Police Dept. came out to show kids safety tips, let them go inside their cars and handed out mini cadet stickers. Restaurants were open as well as food trucks Like Cousins Maine Lobster, Taste of Italy, Monte Carlos and way more!
There were many vendors who also lined the street from Burbank’s Little League Baseball Program to World Vision, an organization that specializes in supplying kids in different countries with freshwater.
Mary Brooks a long-time resident of Burbank said that “In my opinion this year was the largest crowd I have seen since I have been coming to Holiday In The Park” She also added, “Everything was way more organized than in past year which is so amazing.”
All in all, Holiday In The Park was a great way to start the holiday season. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, and on behalf of myBurbank we want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!
Every year, Burbank’s Chamber of Commerce holds the State of the City Address and 2019 saw a packed house at the Burbank Airport Marriott Conference Room Wednesday morning. Just about every leader in the City, both public and private was in attendance to hear about Burbank’s direction.
This was the second ‘official’ time for Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy with a third time being when she pinch-hit for an ailing Will Rogers. She was fully prepared and confident saying when asked what she wanted people to get out of this year’s presentation., “I would like people to redouble their pride in the city of Burbank which is a world-class city and I want to tell that story today. We have really lifted ourselves up in a way that us at the head of any city in this country so I want people to walk away feeling proud that Burbank is a world-class city.”
When asked about all the new projects and construction in the City, Gabel-Luddy responded, “All of it is to the good. Besides Disney and Warner Bros., Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, we now have Netflix coming and that was announced this week.”
There is also some concern, “We can’t forget about the people who are less fortunate than any of us, but that we have the engine and the power as an integrated media center to really develop the City to greater jobs, higher-level investment in our infrastructure and higher-level investment in our city services like police and fire.”
As for the future though, the Mayor seemed genuinely enthusiastic, ” As extraordinary as the burgeoning visitor industry here in the community of Burbank that we have more hotel rooms coming online, Warner Bros. will be developing their Second Century Project shortly with the Frank Gehry designed buildings so, besides the median synergies that are going on, there is iconic architecture that going to be built. We are going to have improvements in our transit and we are looking to get more housing in our community and at the same time we are not going to forget the people who are not as well off as any one of us is today.”
Burbank Chamber of Commerce CEO, Tom Flavin, was very direct when asked about his opinion on the day ahead. “Optimism about the future”. He feels it is important for the Chamber to be involved with the speech every year. “This is important to us and our members because it (State of the City) underscores our partnership with the city”
During her speech after lunch, Gabel-Luddy spoke to the assembled as she touted much of Burbank’s present saying over 2,00o film permits were granted this year which does not count what happens behind studio walls.
She also spoke about the impacts of passing Measures T and P, and the effect it has had already on the City, “Your Measure P funds are already hard at work. Our Public Works Department just finished its largest local/residential paving project the City has ever embarked upon. We have more than doubled our annual paving schedule, which now includes 180 local and residential and arterial City blocks, upgrading about 100 curb ramps and diverting approximately 150,000 discarded tires from landfills using rubberized asphalt.”
Of course, the homeless situation is a current crisis which she addressed by saying, “Last year, the City Council approved the homelessness implementation plan and we have had some success. We will use funds from a Measure H planning grant to establish a storage facility for a homeless person’s property. This will allow the City to enforce regulations that prevent the storage of personal items in the public right of way.
Partnerships are key in creating affordable housing that’s why we came together with Burbank Housing Corporation and Family Promise to rehabilitate a triplex for use as a transitional homeless facility. Additionally, we have partnered with the Downtown Business Improvement District to hire Street Plus for the downtown, including the Metro Link facility. Street Plus works with our police department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team and Ascencia, a non-profit homelessness organization, to connect those in need with available resources.”
Housing in Burbank is also an issue with the City Council setting a goal to build 12,000 units during the next 15 years, focusing on transportation corridors.
Construction has completed or expected to start already as she praised developments like the Talaria Project, which houses Whole Foods and 241 housing units and has been recogined with many awards.
“Recently approved is the First Street Village Mixed-use project across from the AMC Theaters. This project will result in the development of 275 housing units, 14 of these will be workforce affordable units along with first-floor commercial. We have other residential development proposals that will soon come to the City Council that include the La Terra Project at 777 Front Street with 573 units of housing and a 307-room hotel, and the proposed Premier on First that will result in 108 new housing units, retail, office and conference space along with a 314-room hotel.
The Marriott-brand AC hotel will soon start construction on 3rd Street across from the Colony Theater. It is estimated that it will contribute more than $1.7M in Transient Occupancy Tax to the general fund annually. Additionally, there are two hotels proposed adjacent to the existing Airport Marriott. These would include Aloft and Residence Inn brands totaling 420 rooms.”
In the end she went on to say what made Burbank a world-class city saying, “We protect our existing single-family neighborhoods while building responsibly. With your help, we are fiscally sound and are taking care of our current infrastructure. Burbank offers strong social networks through our diversity in population, backgrounds, and beliefs.
We are embracing change while determining our future through planning, setting goals and following through. We beautify our community with arts, culture, and entertainment. We also work with our many non-profits who provide much-needed services the City itself can’t offer.”
There was also a video presentation shot and edited by the City’s Public Information Office that was as well shot and edited as many shows that you see from the studios who dot our community.
Are there still problems to be worked out in the City, yes. And while the outlook of the State of the City left a positive taste, it will take much work in the future to obtain all of the goals.
Editior’s Note: October 25 at 5:00 pm – We now have the video shown at the State of the City Address – you can watch below
Officials broke ground on what is called the Burbank Channel Bikeway Project on Wednesday afternoon in what will be a 0.79-mile off-street bike and pedestrian path that will be located directly adjacent to the Burbank Western Channel.
Starting at the Downtown Burbank Metrolink station, the channel will be 12 feet wide and run 0.79 of a mile to Alameda Avenue.
This is one of the last links that will create a bike path that starts in Chatsworth and runs all the way to Long Beach, about a 50-mile distance. Improvements at the Channel Bikeway close an important gap that will allow cyclists to seamlessly travel from Downtown Los Angeles in a separate and protected off-street facility.
A release says the Project is the result of a 2009 Metro Call for Projects grant, and Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program grant that was awarded in 2012, as well as the new award of Measure M Multi-Year Subregional Program funding.
The City of Burbank invites you to attend the Burbank Channel Bikeway Project Groundbreaking Ceremony at the 200 West block of Elmwood Avenue (eastside of the Channel) on October 23, 2019, beginning at 4:00 P.M.
The Burbank Channel Bikeway Project is a 0.79-mile off-street bike and pedestrian path that will be located directly adjacent to the Burbank Western Channel. The 12-foot wide path will begin at the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station and proceed south to Alameda Avenue.
The Project, when completed, will create a bike path that begins at Chatsworth and ends 50 miles away at Long Beach. It will beautify the Channel while providing a safe off-street facility for bicycle riders and pedestrians. It also builds better neighborhoods by providing recreational amenities that encourages active living while improving the aesthetics of the Channel area. Improvements at the Channel Bikeway close an important gap that will allow cyclists to seamlessly travel from Downtown Los Angeles in a separate and protected off-street facility.
The Project is the result of a 2009 Metro Call for Projects grant, and Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program grant that was awarded in 2012, as well as the new award of Measure M Multi-Year Subregional Program funding.
Release supplied by the Burbank Police Officers’ Association:
On Tuesday evening, the Burbank Police Officers’ Association and the City of Burbank have agreed on a new contract, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), through June 2021.
The BPOA membership has been working without a contract since July 2018. In the time since then, our negotiating team has been in talks with the City to obtain a new contract, forgoing benefits and wage increases in the interim. Our membership continued serving the community with the same dedication and enthusiasm as we always have.
The BPOA membership and the City of Burbank have agreed on a package where the BPOA members will split pension costs evenly with the City: 50/50. This cost sharing is unprecedented among Southern California municipalities; however, this concession by our officers, positions the City of Burbank to balance its budget for years to come. BPOA President, JJ Puglisi, commented, “In return, the BPOA hopes City officials will remain good stewards of the City’s assets, which include its first responders.”
Our newer officers, who were hired under The California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), which took effect in January 2013, will see their wages increased by about 8%. The BPOA hopes this wage increase for newer officers will spur an increase in recruiting, which has been sluggish. We are currently understaffed by 21 sworn officers, which reduces the effectiveness in providing police services to the Community.
The men and women of the BPOA appreciate the support of our community and look forward to the continued partnership we have forged over a multitude of decades.