Fiesta La Ballona celebrates global culture in Culver City
From straight-ahead Mexican Mariachi to Russian-flavored surf rock and Bulgarian folk dance to hip-hop grooves, Culver City’s annual Fiesta La Ballona is a celebration of community and Westside diversity.
The three-day “party in the park” features more than 100 vendor booths selling artisan wares, carnival rides, games, a petting zoo, pony rides, a beer and wine garden and food trucks in addition to live performances by music and dance troupes.
The Susie Hansen Latin Jazz Band (a regular at Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey) kicks off the lineup at 4:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a showcase of local teen bands and more.
On Saturday, Centinela Avenue culinary fixture Casa Sanchez’s Mariachi Voces de Mexico de Raul Sanchez play at noon, with other highlights including British invasion, Beach Boys, ‘80s funk, and ‘90s rock tribute acts.
Sunday’s bill includes Caribbean sounds by Upstream, a taste of Rio from Brasil Brazil (both also Fisherman’s Village favorites), and Santa Monica’s own Siberian surf rock band Igor and the Red Elvises.
On the dance side, hip-hop troupe Versa-Style performs on Saturday and Xorotroptzi performs Bulgarian folk dance on Sunday, with Mexican folk dance troupes Grupo Folklorico LaRosa and Grupo Folklorica Macias making Saturday and Sunday appearances, respectively.
And don’t forget the influence of screenland. Artist Lori Escalera, a Culver City High alum, is creating a 3D street art exhibit depicting Wizard of Oz characters running to the Emerald City on the yellow brick road inside a retro television set. Sounds like the makings of an Instagram post. #Fun
— Christina Campodonico
Fiesta La Ballona happens Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 26, 27 and 28) at Veterans Memorial Park, 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City. Free admission; $1 per carnival ride ticket. Call (310) 253-6650 for info during the weekend, or visit fiestalaballona.org for a full schedule of events.