Festival underscores Irvine's diversity

Live music, martial arts demonstrations and a magician helped attract more than 13,000 visitors to Bill Barber Park on Saturday for ninth annual Irvine Global Village Festival.

A Korean choir and Scottish bagpipes were heard among the five stages at the event, which wasn't hindered by the touch of tropical storms overhead. Visitors watched demonstrations of karate, taekwondo, judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu, each presented by the country of origin. Strolling street performers and entertainers meandered through the crowd, drawing laughter and joyous applause.

Some booths displayed cultural antiquities and photographs; others offered crafts, clothing, jewelry and art for sale.

The city's multicultural association created the festival to underscore culture diversity in Irvine.

"I don't think Southern California, or the world, for that matter, recognizes just how multifaceted and multicultural the city of Irvine really is," Mayor Sukhee Kang said.

TERRANCE K. PHILLIPS is the author of "The Divorce Disease – Options for a Cure" and other books. He is an internationally published columnist and contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

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