Fiesta La Ballona, Culver City’s annual “Party in the Park,” will be held August 25-27, 2017 at Veterans Park which is located at 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City. Fiesta is a free, signature event of the Culver City Centennial Celebration. The weekend’s festivities will feature live performances, carnival rides and games, vendor booths showcasing local groups and artisan wares, pony rides and petting zoo, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, a food court, an aquacade, an interactive sustainability booth, and other special activities. The Opening Ceremony, featuring remarks by Culver City Mayor Jeffrey Cooper and a special performance by The Actors’ Gang, will occur in the Fiesta Entertainment Tent on August 25 at 6:00 pm. Admission is free. 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 25; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 26; and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. Fiestagoers are advised that parking is available at Veterans Memorial Complex and Sony Pictures Studios. To avoid parking challenges, attendees are encouraged to bike, walk, or take the bus to the event. In fact, Fiesta La Ballona is recognized as a bicycle friendly event! Angel City Derby Girls 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 contact Culver CityBus at www.culvercitybus.com or (310) 253-6500 to plan your visit. This year’s Dial-A-Ride paratransit shuttle will operate August 25 (4:30-8:30 pm), August 26 (11:00 am to 8:00 pm), and August 27 (11:00am to 7:00pm). The pick-up/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 ride tickets are $1.00 each with volume discounts. Each ride varies in number of tickets required, with many needing 3-4 tickets per ride. Friday night, starting at 5:00 pm, there will be a special offer of two riders for the price of one. Wristbands, purchased for $25.00 by 7:00 pm on August 25, are available for unlimited rides on Saturday or Sunday until 6:00 p.m. Wristbands purchased after that time are $30.00. 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.
There will be musical performances and heritage dance presentations in the Entertainment Tent throughout the weekend. The Friday and Saturday program will celebrate a century of American music and the Sunday schedule will include a diverse program of world music. Friday, August 25 includes a performance by Corey and His Cohorts as well as Fiesta-Palooza coordinated by Flynn Namala and Ryan Silver of The Blank Minds. Fiesta-Palooza showcases five local teen bands: Eliza, The Nerts, Leaving London, Mediocre, and Street Play.
The performances on Saturday, August 26 start at 12:00 noon and will feature Street Corner Renaissance, Grupo Folklorico Macias, Fortunate Son, Grupo La Rosa, Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps, Ho’Aloha Polynesian Dancers, Corday Undercover, and On The Edge Dance Studio. Starting at 7:00 pm, Fiesta La Ballona will present tribute band Hollywood Blonde in a two-hour dance party featuring Top 40 hits.
The performances on Sunday, August 27 start at 11:00 am and will include Cali Rose & The CC Strummers, Orquesta Charangoa (this performance is sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas), Xorotroptzi, Crawdaddio, Brasil Cultural Center, Quitapenas, Ballet Folklorico de Claudia Jeanette, and The Fenians. 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. On August 25, seniors can enjoy early bird dinners, between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pony rides and a petting zoo will open on Friday at 5:00 pm and at 11:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. The Aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge will occur on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 pm to 6:00pm. There is a $1.00 admission fee. Culver City Rotary Club sponsors The Lucky Ducky Swim on Sunday afternoon. KCET will have an interactive kiosk at Fiesta on Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Fiestagoers will be able to meet the LA Galaxy Star Squad from 12:00 am to 4:00 pm and the LA Kings Ice Crew from 4:15 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturday. The Culver City Historical Society Archives and Resource Center, located within Veterans Memorial Building, will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm with exhibits featuring Fiesta dresses and other memorabilia.
The Exchange Club’s Beer & Wine Garden returns to Fiesta this year and there will be food trucks and Food Court booths offering many options including BBQ, global cuisine, classic American fare, and many desserts and sweets.
Fiesta La Ballona’s Sustainability Booth will offer activities and presentations on Saturday and Sunday. The Repair Café returns on Saturday (11:00 am – 6:00 pm). On Sunday, there will be multiple events including Energy Efficiency with special guest Bulb Man (11:00 am – 2:00 pm), an informational session with the Baldwin Hills Conservancy (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), and a display from Bioclean StormWater (11:00 am – 6:00 pm). 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. In an effort to work towards a zero waste Fiesta, volunteers are trained on recycling procedures and will educate visitors on what to place in the recycling bins located throughout the Fiesta grounds. Vendors will be encouraged to donate surplus food to a food bank or food collection center.
The City of Culver City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Fiesta La Ballona Committee organize and produce Fiesta along with the assistance of almost 70 volunteers. This year’s Fiesta Committee members include Chair Marcus G. Tiggs, Vice Chair Jeanne Min, Celeste Anlauf, Ronnie Jayne, Carrie Karney, Tashon McKeithan, and Bob 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. 2017 contributors include Gold Sponsors – Sony Pictures Entertainment, Chevrolet, and Co+Opportunity Market and Deli; Silver Sponsors – Cedars Sinai, T-Mobile, Tito’s Tacos, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and Steeldeck, Inc.; Bronze Sponsors – The Culver Studios, Backstage Bar & Grill, Heather & Art Realtors, Golden State Water, Ivy Station, HaltonPardee, Echo Horizon School, The Gas Co, Vivian Lesny Group, and AYSO Region 19 – Culver City; Fiesta Friends – Cavanaugh Realtors, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa, Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, and ZogSports; Media Sponsors – KCET, KLOS, and JACK FM; Event Activity Partners – Angel City Derby Girls, LA Galaxy Star Squad, and LA Kings Ice Crew; and Zero Waste Partner – Haynes Building Services.
This acclaimed festival received the 2017 Outstanding Program Award from the California Association of Parks & Recreation Commissioners and Board Members. 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. The contest was coordinated by the Fiesta La Ballona Committee along with Kristine Hatanaka who is the AVPA Co-Executive Director and Creative Director of Art. This year’s first place winner is Vanessa Harding and Ashley Jara received second place. Both designs are posted on the Fiesta La Ballona website and will be displayed at the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
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, Twitter, and Instagram, featuring the hashtag #FLB2017. A program guide, which includes a map of the event and all scheduled activities, will be available at Fiesta La Ballona.
Vanessa Harding, First Place Ashley Jara, Second Place