When we first became involved with Fiesta la Ballona (FLB) in 2003 our understanding was it was a celebration for residents of the City and intended to increase the desirable profile of Culver City as the small-town city in the midst of the Los Angeles megalopolis. An important aspect was to highlight our numerous volunteer organizations that contribute to that sense of community.
Through the years, we as part of the Fiesta la Ballona Committee (FLBC) have tried many new things to make it more fun, informative and inclusive, and have had great success by having 25,000 – 30,000 residents/participants looking forward to the annual event. Since we have a relatively small venue (Veterans Memorial Park), the current FLBC has recommended that we have no more retail or organizational booths, to allow more room for children’s games and events. However, we cannot believe they want to throw out the baby with the bath water! If the FLBC wants to make more room for the children, then eliminate the retail booths only, but not the organizational booths, which highlight our great volunteer spirit that makes Culver City so desirable.
Just think what we will be excluding: School Booster Clubs – Support of the Library;
Health & Wellness – Youth Health Center, Gardening
Environmental such as Ballona Creek and Bike-Riding
Local Political Groups and Clubs
Sports – This is where the major sign-up’s for Culver City Youth Baseball and Soccer happen!
It will be terrible to tell those who have bought booths well in advance, both retail and organizations, that they cannot have a booth at this late date. For some organizations, this is one of their major fundraising/visibility/recruitment events. This is also a slap in the face, will make many people angry and will hurt CC’s credibility for the future.
To all our residents: The City Council will be dealing with this issue at its August 8 meeting. Please call our City Council and let them know that this will not improve FLB, but will move us toward an “Any Town” festival. Time is of the essence.
Tom Camarella, 2 time Fiesta la Ballona Chair
Ronnie Jayne, 3 time Fiesta la Ballona Chair