Festival Info

Our Mission

The International Festival strives to celebrate the diversity of Harrisonburg and the surrounding communities by providing a friendly forum in which cultural groups can showcase their cultural and linguistic values as a means to educate the larger community and to support awareness for their presence and contribution. 


We began in 1997 as an alliance of various community groups and individuals who wanted to promote tolerance to all residents and offer support to local immigrants and cultural businesses. That first year, it was a small and dedicated group that put together the festival on short notice, and though it remains relatively small, our planning committee continues to diversify through increasing community involvement.

Realizing the importance of communication, the festival has always translated our promotional and informational materials in the most prominent languages of our area. Since its inception international music, dance, food, artists, storytelling, and family-friendly activities for everyone have been the mainstay of our event and what have given rise to our community ethos: ‘Educate, Entertain, and Eat!’

The Harrisonburg International Festival is a program of the Civic Engagement branch of the Fairfield Center, a nonprofit organization working to advance dialogue and understanding in our community.

Parking, Shuttle, & Bike Trails

The International Festival is located at Hillandale Park, 801 Hillandale Ave, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801

Free Park & Ride shuttle buses will run from four sites this year to Hillandale Park (Click for directions):

First Church of the Brethren ( 315 S Dogwood Dr)
Rockingham Square (1751 S High St)
JMU’s Memorial Hall (395 S. High Street) parking lots C7, C8, R9, C 13.
Harrisonburg Mennonite Church (1552 S High St)

Bus schedule will start at 12:00AM with service every 15-20 minutes throughout the day till 6:40PM. Multiple passenger buses will run continuous loops throughout the day, stopping at all four pick up sites, unloading at the Festival and returning.

On-site parking is available ONLY for handicapped or HOV4 (high occupancy vehicles with 4 or more riders).  All other attendees may use our free shuttle bus service. Bikers and walkers may also access the Park from the dead-end of South Avenue via an off-road trail (see information link below). Golf cart shuttles (marked with handicap stickers) will be available for those needing rides on the grounds. They will run between the main entrance and shelter 12 throughout the day.

Bike Trail access to the Festival:
We are excited about the access to the Park via bike trails and invite you to make use of them as a way to ease parking concerns and to keep our community green. You may find a great printable map here of the Rocktown Bike Trail into Hillandale Park.

Festival Guidelines

We are committed to fostering a relaxed atmosphere, but there are certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure a safe and fun festival for everyone. Every attendee must abide by the following:

  • All PETS must be on a leash during the festival (licensed ADA assistants excepted).
  • No fireworks or sky lanterns
  • No outside alcohol permitted
  • We encourage you to leave all coolers and picnic baskets at home.  (the festival offers a wide range of drinks, foods, and desserts)
  • No unauthorized vending – if you’re not a registered vendor you may not sell or distribute anything on the festival grounds
  • No motorized vehicles
  • No weapons, knives or firearms
  • Reusable drinking bottles/cups allowed.  Disposable plastic water bottles discouraged
  • For safety reasons, no Frisbee throwing during the festival
  • Lawn chairs & blankets allowed in designated areas (wheelchairs exempted)
  • No pop-up tents are allowed anywhere on festival grounds, other than registered vendors

Enjoy the relaxed festival atmosphere, but be proactive about the security of your belongings. Leave your campground overtly empty.  Don’t bring what you cannot afford to lose and be sure to look after one another.  Our community is not possible without your participation!

Festival goers must abide by all local, state, and federal laws. NO ALCOHOL OR DRUG SALES tolerated anywhere on the festival site or annexed properties. Anyone caught selling or distributing illicit substances will immediately be ejected from the festival. Further legal repercussions are likely.

Help us be environmentally conscience and bring a water bottle to fill. 

**The festival grounds are wheelchair/handicap accessible, including portable restrooms.  On-site parking is available ONLY for handicapped or HOV4 (high occupancy vehicles with 4 or more riders).