About the Festival

Food, art, music, and a celebration of Irvine's heritage and culture!

This year, the City of Irvine commemorated the 19th annual Irvine Global Village Festival with a series of responsibly planned events that adhered to social distancing guidelines as we navigate these unusual times. The community enjoyed three weeks of unique, interactive online experiences and two socially distanced drive-in concerts that highlighted memories of festivals past and created new memories uniting us all. While we couldn't gather in person this year, the City enjoyed celebrating Orange County’s premier multicultural event in innovative ways that kept the public safe, connected, and engaged.

From September 21-October 10, we celebrated our multicultural community during these unusual times through music, art, food, and fun:

  • Browsed Global Village Through the Years, a photo album exploring the history of the Irvine Global Village Festival and featuring photos shared by community members of their favorite memories from past festivals.
  • Made new memories of Irvine Global Village Festival at home. Families took part in weekly themed art activities and classes from home. View videos of the classes and downloadable coloring sheets for kids still available here.
  • Explored a list of multicultural restaurants in Irvine with outdoor dining or take-home options to dine globally and celebrate Irvine’s rich diversity while staying safe at home. 
  • Enjoyed entertaining videos featuring the international cuisine, dance, and musical performances of previous Irvine Global Village Festivals.
  • Had a family picnic at the Orange County Great Park on October 2.
  • Attended two drive-in concerts at the Orange County Great Park, put on in partnership between the City and the Irvine Barclay Theatre. 

 


Festival History

In 1988, 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 event to a larger venue, enabling attendance and participation to grow. In 2002, 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 as it grows each year.

In 2009, Irvine Global Village Festival was voted Best Festival by OC Weekly. The year 2011 marked the 40th anniversary for the City of Irvine and the 10th anniversary of the Irvine Global Village Festival. That year's event drew a record crowd of more than 20,000 attendees and began the tradition of the United Nations Art Miles Mural Project, in which younger guests promoted global peace by painting their own message of nonviolence. In 2012, the City received the Cultural Diversity Award from the National League of Cities for its role in developing creative and effective programs, such as Irvine Global Village Festival, that improve and promote cultural diversity.

Now the City's signature event, the festival continues to highlight Irvine's vibrant and diverse community. It has grown to include more than 100 musical, dance, and demonstration performances on multiple stages, and features a variety of local and global cuisines, kids' crafts and activities, cultural exhibits, and an artisan's marketplace. The year 2020 marks the 19th anniversary of the Irvine Global Village Festival.