Wave Staff Report
CULVER CITY — Fiesta La Ballona, the city’s annual summer festival, takes over Veterans Park, 4117 Overland Ave., Aug. 24-26.
The festival features live performances, carnival rides and games, pony rides and a petting zoo, a beer and wine garden, food trucks and a food court, vendor booths showcasing local groups and artisan wares, an aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge and an interactive sustainability information booth.
The opening ceremony, with members of the Culver City City Council, will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Fiesta Entertainment Tent. The ceremony will include special performances by Ballet Folklorico de El Marino and the Actors’ Gang.
Fiesta hours are 4:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 24; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 25; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. August 26. Fiesta-goers are advised that parking is available at Veterans Memorial Complex and 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.
Angel City Derby Girls, with the support of Bike Culver City, will offer a secure bike valet for visitors who ride their bikes to the celebration Aug. 25 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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 Aug. 24 from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Aug. 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The pick-up and 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 rides vary in the number of tickets required. Friday night, starting at p.m., there will be a special offer of two riders for the price of one.
Wristbands, purchased for $25 by 7 p.m. on Aug. 24, are available for unlimited rides on Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wristbands purchased after that time are $35. After 6 p.m., only individual ride tickets purchased at the ticket booth are valid.
Fiesta La Ballona opens at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24 with a festive happy hour. The Exchange Club’s Beer and Wine Garden will open at that time and seniors can enjoy early bird dinners at food trucks and food booths until the offer ends at 6 p.m.
The fiesta offers many dining options including barbeque, global cuisine, classic American fare and delicious desserts and sweets.
Live entertainment is featured throughout the weekend.
In addition to live performances, other attractions and activities are available during fiesta weekend. Pony rides and a petting zoo will open on Friday at 5 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Aquacade at the Culver City Municipal Plunge will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a $1 admission fee.
Attendees are welcome to swim, test their log rolling skills, and enjoy inner tubes, arts and crafts, and rubber ducky races.
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.
The Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Fiesta La Ballona Committee organize and produce the event with the assistance of almost 70 volunteers. This year’s Fiesta Committee members include Chair Jeanne Min, Vice Chair Tashon McKeithan, Greg Guzzetta, Ronnie Jayne, Lila Swenson, Marcus G. Tiggs, and Robert C. Wayne.
Admission to Fiesta La Ballona is free and more information is available by visiting www.fiestalaballona.org or by calling (310) 253-6650.