Fiesta La Ballona, Culver City’s annual “Party in the Park”, will be held this year on August 22-24, 2014 at Veterans Park located at 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City. The weekend will feature live performances, carnival rides and games, over 100 booths showcasing local groups, artisan wares, and other vendors, a petting zoo and pony rides, a beer and wine garden, food trucks and a food court, sustainability activities and other special activities. Admission is free.
Fiesta La Ballona event hours are 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, August 22; 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 23; and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 24. Complimentary event parking can be found at Veterans Park and Sony Pictures Studios on Culver Boulevard.
Music and dance performances as well as special, interactive activities are free. Food, drinks and other attractions are optional and an additional cost. Carnival ride tickets are $1.00 each with volume discounts. Each ride varies in number of tickets required, with many needing 4-5 tickets per ride. Wristbands, purchased for $20.00 in advance, are available for unlimited rides on Saturday and Sunday until 6:00 p.m. After 6:00 p.m. only ride tickets are valid. More information on purchasing wristbands is available by contacting the City’s Recreation Office at (310) 253-6550.
Fiesta’s performances in the Entertainment Tent will begin on Friday, August 22 at 4:00 p.m. with Ballroom Dancing featuring Pat Ruane & Dancers. They will be followed by Jimmy Brewster and the Westside Band performing Rat Pack classics. Fiesta-Palooza will start at 6:00 p.m. and showcases five of Culver City’s local teen bands, including Silent Partner, the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Jazz Combo, Searchlights, State of Panic, and Below 51.
On Saturday, August 23 the Opening Ceremony will occur at 11:45 a.m. and include welcoming remarks from City Council members and other officials, a Color Guard presentation from Culver City’s Boy Scout Troop 113, and Vox Femina Los Angeles, a Culver City-based choral group, performing “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Mariachi Voces de Mexico de Raul Sanchez will launch the performances on Saturday, August 23 at 12:00 Noon. They will be followed by Grupo Folklorico Macias presenting folk dances of Mexico. Jennifer Corday will return this year to perform 90s Pop Rock as Corday Undercover at 1:45 p.m. At 2:45 p.m., the Murphy Family Bluegrass Band will open for the Doo Wah Riders, who will perform contemporary and classic country favorites at 3:30 p.m. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., dee-Lightful Productions, which provides musical theatre camps and workshops for children and teens through the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, will perform selections from Hairspray and Once On This Island. 2014 marks the 45th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Fiesta will present the best of 60s Rock by the Woodstock Tribute Band at 5:15 p.m. Next, Grupo Folklorico LaRosa will perform lively folk dances from the Americas at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night will wrap up with a two-hour Rhythm and Blues dance party, featuring Fly Guy and DIVA, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The program will open at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 24 to the sound of ukulele music, presented by Cali Rose & The CC Strummers. Masanga Marimba will follow, performing marimba fusion music at 11:45 a.m. At 12:45 p.m., Grupo Folklorico Tzintzuni will present folk dances of the Americas. Sunday afternoon will feature reggae music from TalkBack at 1:30 p.m., followed by the Ho’Aloha Polynesian Dancers at 2:30 p.m. Roncovacoco’s performance at 3:15 p.m., sponsored by the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, will feature Latin fusion music. Shingari’s School of Rhythm will perform cinematic Bollywood dances at 4:15 p.m., followed by Paddy’s Pig at 5:00 p.m., which will close the entertainment program with Irish Rock and Folk Music.
In addition to live performances, many other attractions and activities will be available during Fiesta weekend. On Friday, August 22, seniors can enjoy several early bird special offers, between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Food Court and selected food trucks. The Aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge will occur on all three days of Fiesta. KidTribe’s Hoopapalooza, sponsored by Westside Unity, will be in the Fun Zone on Saturday and Sunday. Jack FM will have a booth on Friday evening, and Radio Disney will join Fiesta on Sunday afternoon. Fiestagoers will also be able to meet the Galaxy Star Squad and LA Kings Ice Crew on Sunday.
The Exchange Club’s Beer & Wine Garden returns to Fiesta and will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If visitors come hungry to Fiesta, food trucks and Food Court booths will be offering options to satisfy anyone’s appetite, including a variety of BBQ, global cuisine, and classic American fare as well as many desserts and sweets.
Fiesta La Ballona’s Sustainability Booth will offer activities and presentations including one on energy efficiency, presented by Southern California Gas Company, on Saturday. Fiesta implements a zero waste policy 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.
Culver City’s 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 bike to the celebration. Culver City Bus provides bicycle racks to encourage bike riding and public transportation. Also, pedicab and Dial-A-Ride paratransit shuttle services will be available at the Sony Pictures Studio parking lot off Culver Boulevard.
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 more than 100 volunteers. This year’s Fiesta Committee members include Randy Arizmendiz as Chair, Karen Gibbs as Vice-Chair, Stephen M. Fry, Ronnie Jayne, Jeanne Min, Marcus G. Tiggs, and Robert C. Wayne.
Sponsors are the backbone of Fiesta and contribute to making the event a great success. The Fiesta thanks the following local organizations and businesses who are sponsoring this year’s event: Gold sponsor Sony Pictures; Silver sponsors Angel City Derby Girls, Bunnin Chevrolet, Culver City Volvo Mazda, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman, Southern California Ford Dealers, and Tito’s Tacos; Bronze sponsors AYSO, Backstage Bar & Grill, Chevron, Heather & Art Realtors, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Lowe Enterprises, See’s Candies, Southern California Gas Company, and Steeldeck, Inc.; Media partners Culver City Observer, Jack FM, LA Weekly, and Radio Disney; Activity partners LA Kings Ice Crew and Galaxy Star Squad; Zero-Waste partners Delamo and Haynes Building Service LLC; Friends of Fiesta Andy Alexander (In Memory of Mayor ‘Alex’ Alexander), Cavanaugh Realtors, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa, Habitat for Humanity, Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, Staples (Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza), Symantec, and ZogSports.
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, Instagram and YouTube. A program guide, which includes a map of the event and all scheduled activities, will also be available at Fiesta La Ballona.