CULVER CITY, Calif. — The 2015 Fiesta La Ballona (Party in the Park) wrapped up on Sunday at Veterans Park across from Sony Pictures. It was a big hit with festival goers young and old. Temperatures ranged from a high of 94 degrees on Friday to a high of 86 degrees on Sunday.
Fiesta La Ballona featured a variety of events including live music, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, carnival rides, over 100 vendor booths and a farmer’s market. Admission was free throughout the entire weekend.
“Last year, we had a very good experience so we’re having the same happy time this year too,” said Aldo Fernandez, an attendee from Los Angeles. “We enjoyed it and I think we’re not going to miss it from now on. What I like is the variety of food. I don’t do the rides, but my kids enjoy it. I think it has something for everyone in the family.
His daughter, Natalie, added: “It’s really fun. I just go on the rides and hang out with my friends and eat. Everyone enjoys all of the rides and stuff. I really like the food, it’s really good. I’ve been on mostly all of the rides–my favorite one is Kamikaze.”
Fiesta’s three day dance party in the Entertainment Tent featured the sounds of classic Rock ‘n Roll, Country, Soul, Big Band and the most popular music playing today as well as World Music such as Hawaiian, Mariachi and Conjunto, Russian Rock and Latin Jazz.
Santa Maria BBQ owner Jim Rodriguez said business was spectacular, even with the hot weather. As they say, people gotta eat.
“It’s a hot day, a lot of people out here, but we’re doing good,” Rodriguez said. “Starting a big fire in 100-degree weather keeps you young. We’re doing tri-tip sirloin and St. Louis ribs. Everything is cooked over red oak wood seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. A tradition from Santa Maria that dates back a couple hundred years.”
On Saturday, fans were able to meet and take photos with members of the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy Star Squad. In addition, KCET-TV celebrated its 50-year anniversary with a special kiosk at the festival.
“So far so good, it’s very nice,” said attendee Bernie Duran of Los Angeles. “There’s a lot of variety. Everything from food to rides to animals. It’s nice. There’s all types of people. I ran into people I know. It’s nice to catch up. It brings the neighborhood together.”
Then, I met up with Kathy and Charles Schmitt, who were enjoying some ice cream. They chose vanilla with no toppings whatsoever.
“It is wonderful, so refreshing and we just like it simple,” she said. “We had to draw the line somewhere, you know. We’ve been eating quite a bit lately. We love the music. Their entertainment is great. We had a lot of fun here yesterday listening to the country music. We get up a little bit and dance. The food is good, we like the rides. It’s a great way to see old friends that maybe you won’t see through the year.”
For more information about Fiesta La Ballona, visit www.fiestalaballona.org