This weekend, August 26, 27, & 28, come out and celebrate Culver City’s annual Fiesta La Ballona. Browse through the booths, taste the food, hang out in the beer garden, listen to the bands, watch the presentations, go on the carnival rides, and have some fun!
Also come by and check out the Archives & Resource Center (ARC), which will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
“Fiesta La Ballona Days” began in 1951 as a week-long celebration of the region’s early settlers. People went to events — and even to work — dressed up as Native American Indians, rancheros, señoritas, cowboys, and cowgirls. The early fiestas evoked pride among the descendants of the “first families” and offered the entire community a playful opportunity to connect with its history.
Suggested reading: Early Fiestas: Recollections by Julie Lugo Cerra
Fiesta information via Fiesta La Ballona
Fiesta La Ballona Days began in 1951 as a weeklong celebration of local heritage. There was something happening daily during this festive week.
Led by the Chamber of Commerce, activities were patterned to appeal to every sector of the community. They included contests for the Queen and her court, a “little queen with court,” a luncheon, hobby show and even a beard-growing contest for the guys. One day there was an antique car show, too. There were two parades, one down the city streets and one for children at Veterans Memorial Park. Evening events included a square dance, a teen dance and there was also a barbecue one night. The Aquacade in the “new” plunge (1950) drew a crowd to a show of synchronized swimming interspersed with clowning antics under the stars.
In celebration of next week’s 49th anniversary of the Fiesta La Ballona, we are displaying an original “Queen’s” gown from the 1951 Fiesta in the Culver City Archives & Resource Center (ARC). This white satin dress with lace-covered bodice and coordinating mantilla was designed and constructed by Rosalie Utterback [sic] who later headed up the Fashion Design Department at Woodbury University.