Anyone who wandered into the Grand Ballroom of the Balboa Pavilion
Sunday afternoon might have thought it was a Friday night.
Dozens of local residents put on their dancing shoes and grooved
to the music of the Redd Stewart Band while celebrating the Balboa
Pavilion's 100th birthday and raising money for hurricane relief.
"Anything we can do to help the Red Cross," said David Salisbury,
owner of Harborside Restaurant in the Balboa Pavilion and organizer
of Sunday's event. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross
Hurricane Relief Fund.
Salisbury said there had been plans to celebrate the structure's
centennial, but after Hurricane Katrina he decided to do something to
help the victims. He said he expected to raise a couple thousand
dollars from entry fees, food purchases, game ticket sales and cash
The event kicked off in the Pavilion parking lot, where for a $10
donation attendees feasted on hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled
chicken sandwiches. An array of old-fashioned carnival games lined
the fence, along with a large bounce house and a face-painting
artist. Upstairs, for an additional $10, adults danced the afternoon
away while enjoying cocktails.
Salisbury donated all the food and games for the barbecue.
"Whatever money comes in is totally for [the Red Cross],"
Salisbury said. He added that though it's easy to just write a check,
he wanted to get the community involved in the fundraising effort.
"It's a good cause," said 10-year-old Briggs Viloria of Newport
Beach. Briggs spent the afternoon working at the basketball game and
helping out with the event. "It makes me feel better to help out for
Longtime Balboa resident Gay Wassall-Kelly said the celebration
brought back memories of the old days on Balboa.
"This is what we used to do down here," she said, gesturing to the
dart-throwing games and face-painting artist.
Wassall-Kelly said she and her husband were happy it was a
"We wouldn't miss this," she said. "Even if there wasn't good
food, which there always is, we would be down here."
* LINDSAY SANDHAM is the news assistant. She can be reached at
(714) 966-4625 or lindsay.sandham@