Irvine Hosts 6th Annual Korean Cultural Festival


Many people gather at the numerous booths at the Irvine Korean Festival. (Diana Zhang)

Staff Writer
On Saturday, May 16th, the city of Irvine held its 6th annual Korean Cultural Festival at the Irvine Civic Center. Founded by Irvine’s mayor, Steven Choi back in 2010, the culture festival was intended to help spread Korean traditions and specialties. Spectators were able to experience Korea’s culture through dynamic dance and taekwondo performances as well as traditional and street-style Korean cuisine offered by the yearly event.
The numerous festivities presented at the festival included a ChocoPie eating contest, a kimchi tasting session, Korean Pop (Kpop) dance-cover competition events, and even a live concert by Megan Lee, a YouTube singer and Nickelodeon star of the television series, “Make It Pop”. The event also offered hourly raffle drawings that included prizes such as tickets to Raging Waters and to the Disneyland Resort.
The Irvine Korean Cultural Festival also allowed students to actively participate by permitting volunteers to help out with balloon-making, cotton candy making, face-painting, and much more.  Kevin Qu (Jr.), who has volunteered for the event for the past three years, stated, ” In past years I helped run different stations at the festival and because of that I feel that I know a lot more about Korean culture and more about the people as well. I’ve also noticed that a lot of non-Koreans attendees and it shows that lots of people are interested in this and want to know more about it. I actually became interested in the Korean culture through being a Kpop fan and watching many Korean dramas at home.”
Likewise, Christina Recto (So.) who volunteered for UNI’s Team Kids Club explained, ” I witnessed people of various cultures attend the event to spend time with their families, as well gain a better appreciation of both their own and different cultures. The festival not only provided me with the chance to help out the community, but it also proved an amazing learning experience.”
At the festival, attendants were able to learn more about the traditions and history of the Korean culture. Anna Goodrich (Jr.) was able to look back on her Korean background and appreciate the history of her roots. Goodrich said, “As a person adopted from Korea, I think it is so important to keep in touch with my Korean culture. Helping with the festival was a great way for me to experience my culture and help others experience the Korean culture as well, whether they are Korean or just are interested in the beautiful culture of Korea.”