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About Us

Festival History

In 1998, a group of residents established the City’s first Multicultural Festival to help promote understanding and build harmony within cultures. A second Festival in 2000 sparked interest to expand the Festival to a larger venue, enabling attendance and participation to grow. In 2001 equipped with a new name and location, the Irvine Global Village Festival moved to the Irvine Civic Center where it drew an estimated 4,000 visitors. The dedicated residents who initially started the Festival went on to form the Irvine Multicultural Association, where they continue to actively guide the planning and development of the annual event which grows each year.

Now the City’s signature event, the Festival continues to highlight Irvine’s vibrant and diverse community but has grown to include more than 100 musical, dance and demonstration performances on five stages. Voted “Best Festival” by OC Weekly in 2009, the Festival also features a variety of international cuisine, kid’s crafts and activities, cultural and world religions exhibits and a global marketplace.

2011 marked the 40th anniversary for the City of Irvine and the 10th anniversary of the Irvine Global Village Festival, which drew a record crowd of more than 20,000 attendees.

Most recently, the City received a 2012 Cultural Diversity Award from the National League of Cities for its role in developing creative and effective programs, like Global Village, that improve and promote cultural diversity through a collaborative process with city officials, community leaders and residents.


Creating a Sustainable Festival

The Irvine Global Village Festival strives to reduce, reuse and recycle as many resources as possible. Our goal is to eventually be a zero waste festival. Through the exploration of new technologies, environmentally responsible initiatives and encouraging new ways of thinking, we are moving closer to this goal each year.

Below are some of our eco-friendly initiatives:

  • Green Transportation – Festival shuttles are powered by natural gas and provide lower emissions when transporting guests to and from the event. Shuttle services are provided by the City’s iShuttle transportation program. For more information, visit irvineshuttle.net.
  • Zero waste stations, which promote recycling and composting, in conjunction with compostable products, help inform guests about recycling options and divert garbage from local landfills.
  • Event signage, banners, staff and volunteer shirts are designed with reuse in mind. One-time use banners are made with biodegradable material.
  • Event programs are printed on recycled paper utilizing soy-based inks and are also available for download to mobile phones.
  • Every plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup, bowl and napkin is either recyclable or compostable.
    • Greenwave Paper Plates - Primarily composed of annually-renewable plants, sugar cane, and reeds.
    • Eco-Products Cold Cups - Made from PLA, (polylactic acid), plastic derived from corn. PLA plastic is a compostable material that when placed in a commercial environment will naturally decompose back to organic elements. Unlike regular cold cups that are made using petroleum, PLA plastic products are made using US-grown corn!
    • Eco-Products Utensils - Biodegradable cutlery is made from non-GMO (genetically modified organism) vegetable starch. It not only exhibits superior performance over other biodegradable utensils, but is OK Compost certified. These biodegradable utensils break down under commercial composting conditions in about 95 days.
    • Napkins - 100% recyclable paper products

What You Can Do:

  • Bring reusable items such as coffee mugs, water bottles and plastic cups for beverages.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by carpooling or taking public transportation to the event. Ride your bike and take advantage of the Festival’s free “Bike Valet” area – it’s great exercise and the perfect way to avoid parking congestion.
  • Utilize recycling and composting bins at event to help divert garbage from landfills.
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bag if you are thinking of purchasing items.


About the City of Irvine

Click here to learn more about the City of Irvine.