July 20, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Fiesta La Ballona Festivities

By Kelly Hartog

WST-LABALLONA9216BWhere can you see Mariachi bands, police K-9 training demonstrations, go for a spin on a Ferris wheel, eat a funnel cake or take a pony ride? At Culver City’s annual Fiesta La Ballona.

The Fiesta, also nicknamed Culver City’s Party in the Park, celebrated its 66th year August 24 through 26 at Veterans Park. Once again, hundreds of people came to enjoy $1 festival rides, listen to everything from World Music and Latin Jazz to Brazilian and Russian Rock and peruse the 80-plus booths offering everything from information on Culver City’s Fire Department to original artisan jewelry.

And of course, no festival would be complete without plenty of food choices. From booths to food trucks, attendees munched on everything from pizza and tacos to funnel cake and candy floss. For the adults, there was also a sectioned off wine and beer garden.

Superheroes and stilt walkers roamed the grounds and crowds oohed and aahed as the Culver City Police Department showcased its K-9 unit, and how the dogs are trained to do everything from sniff out drugs to take down criminals.

Culver City Mayor Jim Clarke officially declared the event open on Saturday morning, which began with Vox Femina Los Angeles, a Culver City-based choral group performing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Clarke told Westside Today the festival is a great opportunity to highlight local vendors and organizations, adding it shows,“why Culver City is such a great place to live, work, learn and play.”

Culver City also prides itself on being a sustainable and eco-friendly city. It was one of the first in the state to ban plastic bags and the festival was dubbed a bicycle-friendly event with Palms Cycle and Angel City Derby Girls offering a free bike valet. The festival was also a zero-waste event with volunteers trained on recycling procedures, who then helped festival-goers ensure their waste went into the clearly marked bins for either trash or recycling.

Vendors at the festival were also encouraged to donate surplus food to a food bank or food collection center.

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