Route 66 News

Santa Monica Pier swing

The Santa Monica Pier, the symbolic western end of Route 66, will hold concerts July 23 to pay tribute to its former La Monica Ballroom and celebrate the pier’s centennial, according to a news release.

La Monica Ballroom hosted ballroom dances from 1924 to 1961, when it closed. Entertainers at the July 23 show will include Johnny Vana and the Big Band Alumni and Squirrel Nut Zippers.

From the release:

The Santa Monica Pier will be alive with historic throwbacks to the La Monica Ballroom in its heyday. Visual elements reminiscent of what it would have been like in 1924 will include a version of the original dance floor and entryway where Western Swing blossomed in the 1940s and 1950s. […]

Following the La Monica Ballroom Redux on July 23rd, the Santa Monica Pier Centennial Celebration will take place on its birthday, September 9, 2009, and will be marked by a grand rededication ceremony with civic and government officials, local and national celebrities, as well as the largest fireworks spectacular over Santa Monica Bay in twenty years.

The event aims to re-create a 1920s vibe. However, since the ballroom was a major player in the popularity of Western swing on the West Coast after World War II, it would be good if the Pier held a Western swing concert as well. Are Asleep at the Wheel or Hot Club of Cowntown available?

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