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.
by Marc Wanamaker
Culver Center Street turned back to 1940s
MGM Studios used the Culver Center shopping district for the political drama, Ada, starring Dean Martin as gubernatorial candidate “Bo Gillis” and Susan Hayward as his supportive wife, “Ada.”
Although the film took place in a small town in the Deep South in the late 1940s (and was loosely based on two-term Louisiana governor, Jimmie Davis), sharp-eyed readers will notice the tell-tale L.A.-based signage for “Culver Center Drugs” (above the “Bo Gillis” banner and below the “Market Basket” sign in the middle of the above photo).
On July 21st, Huell Howser visited Culver City to film a segment on the Culver Hotel and the ARC.
This photo, taken by Mr. Howser’s cameraman Cameron in front of Gene Kelly’s striped jacket from Take Me Out To the Ball Game, features (from left) City Historian Julie Lugo Cerra, Howser, Immediate Past President Cathy Zermeno, Costume Curator Louise Coffey-Webb and photographer Fred Yglesias.
Huell Howser’s Culver City show will air on KCET in September or later. Check back here for more details!
UPDATE: Huell Howser’s episode on Culver City will be televised on KCET on Thursday, September 23, 2010 and again on Friday, October 15, 2010, both at 7:30 PM.