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Embrace the Flavors of Fall: Oktoberfest and Other Cultural Harvest Festivals in Orange County

This fall, Orange County invites residents and visitors to immerse themselves in a cultural cornucopia of harvest festivals. From the vibrant international feel of the Irvine Global Village Festival, to the more cultural Mid-Autumn Festival and Oktoberfests, each festival offers a unique blend of tradition, flavors, and vibrant celebrations that capture the essence of the season. Whether you’re exploring global cultures or indulging in local traditions, these festivals are a testament to the rich tapestry of diversity that defines Orange County.

Orange International Street Fair

Date: September 1-3, 2023
Location: Old Towne Orange Plaza, Orange

Hosted annually over Labor Day weekend, The Orange International Street Fair transforms Old Towne Orange into a global culinary tour. With sections of the cross streets of W. Chapman and N. Glassell named after different countries and regions, guests can enjoy cuisine ranging from Mexican street tacos to Asian spring rolls, and from Greek gyros to Lebanese shawarma. Taste your way through diverse street food offerings while enjoying live music and entertainment that mirror the fair’s global theme. Entry is free.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Date: September 29, 2023
Location: Great Park, Irvine

Embrace the beauty of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional East and Southeast Asian celebration of the harvest and the full moon and dates back over 3,000 years to when the Emperor of China worshipped the moon for bountiful harvests. The event at Great Park in Irvine brings together the community to enjoy cultural performances, lantern displays, and mooncakes – a symbolic treat of the festival. Experience the magic of this time-honored celebration that bridges cultures and generations. Entry is free.

OC Moon Festival (Tết Trung Thu Festival)

Date: October 1, 2023
Location: Mile Square Park, Fountain Valley

The OC Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival or Tết Trung Thu Festival, is a cherished Vietnamese celebration that takes place in the fall. It typically falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. The festival is marked by colorful lanterns, cultural performances, and of course, delectable traditional Vietnamese treats. Every child is given a delicious moon cake and a beautiful lantern free of charge. The event often features lion dances, folk music, and contests, creating an immersive experience of Vietnamese culture right in the heart of Orange County. Entry is free.

Dożynki Polish Harvest Festival

Date: September 16-17, 2023
Location: Saint John Paul II Polish Center, Yorba Linda

Celebrating the Polish tradition of Dożynki, this centuries-old tradition celebrates the culmination of the harvest season with a lively event held annually at the Polish Center in Yorba Linda. Dożynki offers a glimpse into Polish culture, featuring traditional folk music, dances, and, of course, a spread of authentic Polish cuisine. Visitors can enjoy an array of traditional Polish foods including well known pierogi and kielbasa and lesser known dishes like bigos, a stew of sauerkraut and meat, and sweet treats like pączki, jam filled doughnuts. Dożynki’s warm and inviting atmosphere reflects the spirit of togetherness and gratitude for the bounties of the harvest season.

Video Source: Dozynki – Polish Harvest Festival Yorba Linda Facebook

Oktoberfest Celebrations

  • Old World Oktoberfest:
    Date: Every Wednesday thru Sunday, September 17 – November 5, 2023
    Location: Old World Village, Huntington Beach
  • Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club:
    Date: October 20 – 22, 2023
    Location: Elks Lodge, Garden Grove

Orange County embraces the German spirit with Oktoberfest festivities that recreate the festive spirit of the original Munich celebration. The Old World Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club are time-honored events that offer traditional German music, dance, and, of course, an array of Bavarian delights and plenty of German beer. Savor bratwurst sausages, pretzels as large as your hand, and sauerkraut, all while participating in spirited games and enjoying the lively atmosphere. With its lederhosen-clad attendees, Bavarian music, and lively dance floors, Oktoberfest encapsulates the essence of German culture and revelry.

Both of these events require an entrance fee and only allow guests 21+. While the Phoenix Club’s Oktoberfest is traditionally held at their private facility in Anaheim, they are in the process of moving to Brea and are temporarily holding their Oktoberfest celebration at the Elk’s Lodge in Garden Grove.

Tustin Tiller Days

Date: October 6-8, 2023
Location: Columbus Tustin Park, Tustin

Tustin Tiller Days harks back to Orange County’s agricultural roots with tractor displays, carnival rides, and live entertainment. This family friendly community gathering features not only classic fair foods but also an opportunity to create some memories with family and friends with activities for just about everyone. Come and enter into the ice cream or hot wing eating contest, enjoy a pint or two at the brewfest, watch the Tiller Days Parade, feast on a special pancake breakfast, or enter your dachshund into their weiner dog race! Entry is free.

Irvine Global Village Festival

Date: October 14, 2023
Location: Great Park, Irvine

The Irvine Global Village Festival is a kaleidoscope of cultures, offering a chance to experience the world without leaving Orange County. This annual festival brings together the rich heritage of diverse communities through music, dance, art, and, of course, cuisine. Sample delicacies from around the globe while enjoying performances that range from traditional to contemporary. The international marketplace showcases individual cultures, sharing their customs and traditions, while the Kids Village offers crafts, interactive activities, a petting zoo, and more! Entry is free.

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