Culver City’s Fiesta La Ballona will be held August 23-25, 2019 at Veterans Park which is located at 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City. This spectacular summer festival features live performances, carnival rides and games, a beer and wine garden, food trucks and a food court, and a vendor village showcasing local groups and artisan wares. New this year are “Plunge Into Fiesta” at the Culver City Municipal Plunge, Silent Disco at the Entertainment Tent, Imagine: Zero Waste World’s sustainability activities, and the first Fiesta La Ballona App. The Opening Ceremony, with members of the Culver City City Council and other local officials, will occur on August 23 at 6:00 pm in the Fiesta Entertainment Tent. The ceremony will include special performances by the Culver City High School Marching Band, the Santa Monica Oceanaires, and El Marino Rainbow Taiko.
Admission to Fiesta La Ballona is free and more information is available by visiting www.fiestalaballona.org or by calling (310) 253-6650. Also, for the first time ever, attendees can download the Fiesta La Ballona App from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Users will be able to access performance and activity information, participate in a scavenger hunt, and receive notifications about exciting opportunities as they happen. You can also find Fiesta on Facebook (@CulverCityFLB), Twitter (@FiestaLaBallona), and Instagram (#FLB2019 or #FiestaLaBallona.) A program guide, which includes a map of the event and all scheduled activities, will be available on the app and at the Fiesta La Ballona Information Booth.
Fiesta La Ballona event hours are 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm on Friday, August 23, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm on Saturday, August 24, and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on Sunday, August 25. Fiestagoers are advised that parking is available at 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. Bike Culver City will offer a secure bike valet for visitors who ride their bikes to the celebration on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Culver CityBus provides bicycle racks on-board to encourage bike riding and public transportation. Please call (310) 253-6500 or visit www.culvercitybus.com or 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 on Saturday, August 24 (12:00 pm – 8:00 pm) and Sunday, August 25 (12:00 pm – 8:00 pm). The pick-up/drop-off zone will be at the Sony Pictures Studios Garage and Fiestagoers will be transported to and from the parking lot turnaround in front of the Culver City Registration Office. 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. Wristbands, purchased for $30.00 by 4:00 pm on August 23, are available for unlimited rides on Saturday, August 24 (11:00 am to 6:00 pm) or Sunday, August 25 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm). Wristbands purchased after that time are $35.00. After 6:00 pm, 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 by visiting www.culvercity.org.
Fiesta La Ballona opens at 4:30 pm on August 23 with a festive T.G.I.F.F. (Thank Goodness It’s Fiesta Friday) celebration. The Exchange Club Beer & Wine Garden will open at that time and seniors can enjoy early bird dinners at food trucks and food booths until offers ends at 6:00 pm. Fiesta offers many dining options including barbeque, global cuisine, classic American fare, and delicious desserts and sweets. Also, Harbor Party, Southern California’s premiere “yacht rock” specialists, kicks off the three-day music program at 4:30 pm in the Entertainment Tent. Fiesta-Palooza starts at 6:30 p.m. and showcases three Culver City teen bands: Vision, Point Antagonist, and Scüzz. Joymode sponsors Silent Disco, a unique dance party where the music is heard only through wireless headsets in the Entertainment Tent (8:30 pm – 10:00pm.).
The Entertainment Tent has been expanded to accommodate dining tables and open green space. Performances on Saturday August 24 begin with a Family Fun Time event featuring Kelly School of Traditional Irish Dance at 10:00 am, Flat Foot and Fancy Free (Dance & Fiddle) plus Milena Reed on Banjo at 10:40 am, and Grupo Folklorico de El Marino at 11:20 am. Next, Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards will play New Orleans family-friendly music at 12:00 Noon. At 2:00 pm, The Silverados will play country music and Mudbug Brass Band will play New Orleans Jazz at 4:00 pm. Lady Zep will pay tribute to Led Zeppelin at 6:00 pm. Starting at 8:00 pm, Fiesta La Ballona will present BUMPTOWN in a two-hour dance party featuring contemporary hits.
Sunday’s performance schedule kicks off with another Family Fun Time event. Joymode sponsors giant games, providing fun for kids of all ages, in the Entertainment Tent and other locations starting at 10:00am. Cali Rose and The CC Strummers return to perform a ukulele concert on the Entertainment Tent dance floor at 11:00am. Jessica Fichot will open the main stage program on Sunday, August 25, at 12:00 Noon and she’ll have the whole family clapping with French chanson, Gypsy Jazz, and International folk music. Conjunto Oye! will perform classic Nuyorican Salsa at 2:00 pm and this concert is sponsored by the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Paddy’s Pig follows, performing lively renditions of traditional and original Irish and Celtic music at 4:00 pm. Kingston Ska Collective closes the Fiesta entertainment program on Sunday with an hour-long set of Ska and Reggae at 6:00 pm.
The Entertainment Tent will also feature performances from contemporary and heritage dance companies. Saturday’s schedule includes performances from Xoro Troptzi, Ho’Aloha Polynesian Dancers, Ballet Folklorico Flor de Mayo, and On the Edge Dance Studio. Sunday’s schedule includes performances from Grupo Folklorico Macias, the Shingari School of Rhythm, and Grupo Folklorico La Rosa.
The Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast will be offered on Saturday and Sunday (8:00am – 11:00 am.) The Exchange Club Beer & Wine Garden will be open Saturday (12:00 Noon – 10:00 pm) and Sunday (12:00 Noon – 7:00 pm). Also, there are many other attractions and activities available during Fiesta weekend.. The new “Plunge Into Fiesta”, at the Culver City Municipal Plunge will occur on Saturday and Sunday. Attendees are welcome to enjoy a Free Swim as well as slides, log rolling contests, and arts and crafts (Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm). Also, on Saturday, there will be an additional Free Swim (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Fiesta’s first Dive-In Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, will be screened on Saturday night at 7:00 pm. Special floats are sponsored by Joymode The Ducky Race, sponsored by the Culver City Rotary Club, occurs at 2:00 pm.
Fiesta La Ballona will be showcasing IMAGINE: A Zero Waste World, an interactive experience, which promises to be hands-on fun for the entire family. Thanks to a generous grant provided by the Culver City Arts Foundation, innovative artist Todd Bank, will have on display a 3.5 ton 50 foot long art installation made entirely from repurposed materials collected over a twenty year period titled the “Wonderful Wall of Waste”. Come marvel at the treasures embedded in the Wonderful Wall of Waste and learn how art made with found or donated waste materials can help mitigate the root causes of global warming and other forms of harmful pollution.
Zero Waste World provides the public with an opportunity for hands-on interaction including working with artist Todd Bank to create a new art installation. On Saturday, there will be the opportunity to build cardboard box forts and create musical instruments out of repurposed materials with reDiscover Center. On Sunday, Culver City’s new Party Trash Truck will be on display and along with a bale of recyclable material provided by the City’s recycling provider, Allan Company. Also, Zero Waste Partner Image Property Services and Culver City representatives will be available to answer questions about how to practice sustainability. On Saturday, the Sustainability Booth will host the Southern California Edison West Side Partnership featuring Bulb Man (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) as well as Bike Culver City (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); on Sunday, the booth will host the Baldwin Hills Conservancy (10:00 am – 7:00 pm)
Fiestagoers will be able to visit the LA Kings Ice Crew activity booth on Saturday (12:00 Noon to 8:00 pm.) On Sunday, there will be activity booths for KLOS (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and LA Galaxy Star Squad (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.) 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 costumes from the film Jumbo as well as Fiesta memorabilia. Exchange Club Beer & Wine Garden, Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, and Bike Culver City
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. 2019 contributors include Gold Sponsors – Sony Pictures Entertainment, Southern California Edison and Westfield Culver City; Silver Sponsors – Cedars-Sinai, Chevrolet, Culver City Rotary Club, Golden State Water Co, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Steeldeck, T-Mobile, and Tito’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant; Bronze Sponsors – AYSO Region 19, The Culver Studios, Culver City Volvo Mazda, Echo Horizon, HeArt Realtors, The Smile Artists, Vivian Lesny, and West Basin Muni Water; Activity Partners – Bike Culver City, Culver City Arts Foundation, LA Galaxy Star Squad, Joymode, LA Kings Ice Crew, and reDiscover; Friends of Fiesta – Backstage Bar & Grill, Cavanaugh Realtors, The Conservatory, The Help Group and Kind Snacks; Media Partners – 95.5 KLOS, Culver City Crossroads and Culver City Observer; and Zero Waste Partner – Image Property Services.
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 Elisa Ribordy and Samantha Shanman received second place. The 2019 Fiesta Volunteer T-shirts feature the design by Elisa Ribordy.
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 over 75 volunteers. This year’s Fiesta Committee members include Chair Greg Guzzetta, Vice Chair Marcus Tiggs, Lizet Alvarez, Lisa Marie Parker Desai, Ronnie Jayne, Lila Swenson, and Robert C. Wayne.