Fiesta La Ballona returned to Culver City August 25 – 27. This fabulous celebration, located at Veterans Park, featured local vendors and organizations, carnival games and rides, live music and more.
While the Fiesta has been happening annually in Culver City for over 60 years, this year’s event coincides with the yearlong Culver City Centennial celebration since its incorporation as an independent city.
Out of the hundreds of attendees, families were the main draw to the event, with a petting zoo and pony rides for children, alongside many kid-oriented carnival attractions. However, political advocacy organizations and local food vendors gave parents and older members of the Culver City community and surrounding areas plenty to do as well.
Marcus Tiggs, festival chairperson, explained that a few changes were made to this year’s festival to honor the centennial celebration. For example, the opening ceremony included a skit by Culver City-based theater The Actors’ Gang in which City Councilmember Jim Clark portrayed Harry Culver, the founder of the city.
“Each year we attempt to tweak things a little bit, because getting to where we are right now didn’t happen overnight,” Tiggs said. “One of the things that we always try to do is make some improvements from feedback that we get.”
According to Tiggs, somewhere around 40 percent of the vendors are Culver City locals, while the rest come from throughout the greater L.A. area.
“We have a lot of returning member that have come to this event for years,” Tiggs said. “Especially the food vendors. We have food vendors who have been back here 10-plus years. They keep coming back.”
While the rides have been and continue to be a major draw for children, Tiggs explained that the addition of a beer and wine garden has kept families at the festival by giving them a separate activity to do. Additionally, a new booth layout implemented last year has improved traffic mobility throughout the festival.
As the festival has changed, it’s also grown, according to City Council Member Göran Eriksson, who explained that the number of booths and people have expanded. In particular, he noted that the musical performers have expanded both in number and in quality.
“Culver City is a cool city,” Eriksson said. “I think the Fiesta is a part of that. This community is a gem in the middle of the greater Los Angeles area.”
For more information on Fiesta La Ballona, visit fiestalaballona.org and for more information on the Culver Centennial Celebration, visit culvercity100.org.