SAN DIEGO -- A community festival will be held this Saturday, Sept. 28 to celebrate the long-awaited opening of the new San Diego Central Library in downtown. The new building will serve as the heart of the city's 35-branch public library system.
The day-long event will include a dedication ceremony, followed by a family-friendly street festival, entertainment, and a sneak peek inside the new Central Library.
The grand building at 330 Park Blvd. will replace San Diego's former Central Library building on E Street - dedicated in 1954 - which has been closed since June in preparation for the opening of the new building.
The 1950s-era Central Library building - built for a city with a population of less than 350,000 people - was cramped, lacking modern technology, and in a state of disrepair.
Construction began on the new Central Library building in August 2010 with a price tag of $184.9 million. San Diegans have watched the nearly 500,000 square foot building slowly rise over downtown with a large dome that will likely become an iconic part of the city's skyline.
The new building is a huge improvement over the previous Central Library, and will include a 350-seat auditorium, an outdoor garden courtyard and cafe, a 3-story domed reading room, a multi-purpose room, a Teen Center, a Children's Room, a technology center, and a cafe.
e3 Civic High, a public charter high school, will also be housed in the building's 6th and 7th floors, with space for approximately 500 students.
More about the facilities and services in the new library is HERE.
Some members of the local LGBT community participated in a fundraising campaign to make a "mark" on the new library.
Donations through the LGBT community fundraising portal will support the Teen Center and help grow and maintain the LGBT Collection, one of the largest in the country.
To honor the community's support, the library will name a large alcove window on the second floor as a donation from the LGBT community.
Saturday's dedication ceremony will begin at 11 am with performances by the Navy Band, the San Diego Children's Choir, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus and "additional surprises."
Community members will then be able to enjoy a day at the library, with a sneak peak at the building's first floor. Performances throughout the day will include Hullabaloo, The Heroes, The Paul Cannon Band, the Boo Hoo Crew, Eric Runningpath, and others.
Additional events include interactive children's activities, a Fancy Nancy parade, arts and crafts, storytelling, author meet-and-greets and more.
Food and snacks will be available throughout the day.
Additional information about the festivities is HERE.
The library will open for business on Monday, Sept. 30 from 9:30 to 8 am.
Central Library is located at 330 Park Blvd.