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DOWNEY -- Fernando Vasquez was sworn-in as the 46th mayor of Downey on Tuesday night, and during his opening remarks announced plans for several community events in 2014, including a "Tour de Downey" bicycle race.
An hour before officially taking the oath of office, Vasquez gave the Patriot a sneak preview of his planned presentation, which include his goals for 2014.
Among the highlights are the Tour de Downey tentatively set for next June. Vasquez said he envisions the event as having two components: a 30-mile trek for experienced riders and shorter version for the less adventurous.
Vasquez will also push for a bicycle-sharing program modeled after a bike system in Denver. In Denver's grab-and-go program, paid users pick up and drop off bicycles as often as they like at designated stations.
Also in June, there are plans for a FIFA World Cup viewing party at a location to be determined. The party is scheduled for June 22, when the United States faces Portugal.
The Taste of Downey, usually held in September, will be rebranded in 2014 as an international food festival, with seven ethnic groups highlighted (America, Mexican, Cuban, Greek, Lebanese, Argentine and Brazilian).
Lastly, Vasquez is advocating for summertime "sunset rooftop" events, such as movie screenings, on the roofs of Downey businesses or public facilities. Similar events are held in Los Angeles and other cities.
Besides community-building efforts, Vasquez said other goals include installing solar rooftops on public buildings, enhanced city technology, branding Downey as "the regional hub for arts and culture," creating more space for art and music, and upgrading city parks.
Vasquez also reaffirmed his commitment to "keep our Downey Fire Department."