From its beginnings around 1880, Gardena was noted for its cultural mix. Its Spanish rancho-era name perfectly described the community’s regionally famous vegetable and strawberry fields, which were primarily tended by settlers of Japanese descent, in Los Angeles County’s South Bay area. The city of Gardena, incorporated in 1930, remains one of the nation’s most ethnically balanced communities, drawing visitors worldwide to its diverse cultural activities. For nearly 40 years, Gardena was the only place in the county to have legalized gambling, and the city’s unique history includes the fact that more public poker tables once existed here than in the rest of the United States combined. Located at the nexus of four major freeways, the “City of Opportunity” thrives today with more than 60,000 people on six square miles only a short distance from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.