Culver City’s Fiesta La Ballona will be held August 24-26, 2018 at Veterans Park which is located at 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City. This spectacular summer festival features live performances, carnival rides and games, pony rides and petting zoo, a beer and wine garden, food trucks and a food court, vendor booths showcasing local groups and artisan wares, an aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge, and an interactive sustainability information booth. The Opening Ceremony, with members of the Culver City City Council, will occur on August 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fiesta Entertainment Tent. The ceremony will include special performances by Ballet Folklorico de El Marino and The Actors’ Gang. Admission to Fiesta La Ballona is free and more information is available by visiting www.fiestalaballona.org or by calling (310) 253-6650.
Fiesta La Ballona event hours are 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 25; and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. Fiestagoers are advised that parking is available at Veterans Memorial Complex and Sony Pictures Studios. Attendees are encouraged to bike, walk, or take the bus to the event to avoid parking challenges. Fiesta La Ballona is recognized as a bicycle friendly event! Angel City Derby Girls, with the support of Bike Culver City, will offer a secure bike valet for visitors who ride their bikes to the celebration on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Culver CityBus provides bicycle racks on-board to encourage bike riding and public transportation. Please call (310) 253-6500 or visit the Culver CityBus webpage at https://www.culvercity.org/how-do-i/find/culver-city-bus/maps-bus-stops-schedules for information about traveling to the event by bus. Electronic scooters are not allowed in Veterans Park and e-scooter parking will be available near the Bike Valet. This year’s Dial-A-Ride shuttle will operate August 24 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., August 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and August 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The pick-up and drop-off zones will be at Sony Pictures Studios’ parking garage and the Culver City Teen Center’s parking lot. Pets are not allowed in Veterans Park and only ADA-compliant, trained service dogs will be admitted.
Music and dance performances, as well as special interactive activities, are free. Food, drinks, and other attractions are optional at an additional cost. Carnival rides vary in the number of tickets required. Friday night, starting at 5:00 p.m., there will be a special offer of two riders for the price of one. Wristbands, purchased for $25.00 by 7:00 p.m. on August 24, are available for unlimited rides on Saturday or Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wristbands purchased after that time are $35.00. After 6:00 p.m., only individual ride tickets purchased at the ticket booth are valid. More information is available by contacting the City’s Recreation Office at (310) 253-6650 or visiting www.culvercity.org.
Fiesta La Ballona opens at 4:30 p.m. on August 24 with a festive Happy Hour. The Exchange Club’s Beer & Wine Garden will open at that time and seniors can enjoy early bird dinners at food trucks and food booths until offer ends at 6:00 p.m. Fiesta offers many dining options including barbeque, global cuisine, classic American fare, and delicious desserts and sweets, Also, the Tom Nolan Band, an electrifying ten-piece rock ‘n soul dance band, kicks off the three-day music program at 4:30 p.m. in the Entertainment Tent. Fiesta-Palooza starts at 6:30 p.m. and showcases five Culver City teen bands: Late Ship, Vision, Point Antagonist, Mediocre, and Leaving London.
The Saturday entertainment program will celebrate popular American music and the Sunday schedule will include a diverse program of world music. There will be musical performances and heritage dance presentations in the Entertainment Tent throughout the weekend. The performances on Saturday, August 25 start at 12:00 noon with a new Family Fun Time event, for families with young children, featuring New Orleans jazz from Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards. The afternoon performers include Los Angeles Swing Dance Posse, Ramblin Man, Grupo Folklorico La Rosa, Gregg Young & the 2nd Street Band, Ho’Aloha Polynesian Dancers, Allensworth, and Ballet Folklorico Flor de Mayo. Starting at 7:00 p.m., Fiesta La Ballona will present Crimes of Passion (a Pat Benatar tribute) and Heart to Heart (a Heart tribute band) in a two-hour dance party.
The performances on Sunday, August 26 start at 11:00 a.m. with Cali Rose & The CC Strummers. A Family Fun Time music and drumming event follows with Rhythm Child. Other afternoon performers include Xoro Troptzi, Conjunto Jardin (sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas), Shingari School of Rhythm, Irie, Grupo Folklorico Macias, and Louie Cruz Beltran. Stilt walkers, provided by Red Swan Entertainment, will intermittently rove the park both Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to live performances, many other attractions and activities will be available during Fiesta weekend. Pony rides and a petting zoo will open on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge will occur on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and there is a $1.00 admission fee. Attendees are welcome to swim, test their log rolling skills, and enjoy inner tubes, arts and crafts, and rubber ducky races.
Also, on Saturday, KXOS Radio Centro 93.9 FM will have an activity booth from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and KCET will have an interactive kiosk from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, Fiestagoers will be able to meet the LA Galaxy Star Squad from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. and the LA Kings Ice Crew from 4:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Culver City Historical Society Archives and Resource Center, located within Veterans Memorial Building, will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with exhibits featuring Fiesta dresses and other memorabilia.
Fiesta La Ballona’s Sustainability Booth will offer activities and presentations on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Southern California Edison will provide information and present a special appearance from Bulbman from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also, Bike Culver City will provide information and demonstrations from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. On Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., there will be multiple presentations focused on recycling, stormwater, zero waste and more presented by Commercial Cleaning Systems and the City’s Public Works Department’s Environmental Programs and Operations Divisions. Fiesta implements a zero waste program to ensure resource recovery and protect scarce natural resources. The plan encompasses waste reduction, composting, recycling and reuse, changes in consumption habits, and encouraging Fiesta participants to view zero waste as a personal evolution in the relationship between waste and people.
The City of Culver City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Fiesta La Ballona Committee organize and produce the event along with the assistance of almost 70 volunteers. This year’s Fiesta Committee members include Chair Jeanne Min, Vice Chair Tashon McKeithan, Greg Guzzetta, Ronnie Jayne, Lila Swenson, Marcus G. Tiggs, and Robert C. Wayne.
Sponsors are the backbone of Fiesta and contribute to making the event a great success. The Fiesta La Ballona Committee appreciates the support of the local organizations and businesses who are sponsoring this year’s event. 2018 contributors include Gold Sponsors – Sony Pictures Entertainment, Caulipower, Chevrolet, Co+opportunity Market and Deli, and Southern California Edison; Silver Sponsors – Cedars-Sinai, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, T-Mobile, and Tito’s Tacos; Bronze Sponsors – Culver City Rotary Club, Echo Horizon School, Golden State Water Company, HaltonPardee Partners, Heather & Art Realtors, Southern California Gas Company, Vivian Lesny Group, and West Basin Municipal Water District; Friends of Fiesta – Backstage Bar & Grill, Cavanaugh Realtors, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa, Honeybee Health, KIND Snacks, Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, Staples Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, Steeldeck, Inc and ZogSports; Activity Partners – Angel City Derby Girls, LA Galaxy Star Squad, and LA Kings Ice Crew; Media Sponsors – KCET, KLOS FM, and KXOS Radio Central 93.9 FM; and Zero Waste Partner – Commercial Cleaning Systems.
Fiesta supports the City’s youth through its volunteer program as well as through a design competition implemented by Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. This year’s first place winner is Lacey Burns and Isabella Haro-Uchimura received second place. Both designs are posted on the Fiesta La Ballona website and will be displayed at the Opening Ceremony on Friday night. Fiesta commemorative T-shirts, featuring the design by Lacey Burns, will be on sale in the Fiesta Information Booth during the event.
For a full list of attractions, activities, live performances, and all other Fiesta-related details, visit the Fiesta La Ballona website at www.fiestalaballona.org. You can also find Fiesta on Facebook (@ CulverCityFLB), Twitter (@FiestaLaBallona), and Instagram (#FLB2018 or #FiestaPalooza.) A program guide, which includes a map of the event and all scheduled activities, will be available at the Fiesta La Ballona Information Booth.
Fiesta 2018 Commemorative Artwork
Left: Lacey Burns (First Place); Right: Isabella Haro-Uchimura (Second Place)