Festival Wins National Diversity Award

San Bernardino’s Festival Receives National Diversity Award
Posted on Mar 31, 2023

San Bernardino’s Festival
Receives National Diversity Award

The National League of Cities (NLC) awarded the City of San Bernardino its 2023 City Cultural Diversity Award at the League’s National Conference held in Washington D.C. from March 26-28. The award recognized the San Bernardino Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department’s inaugural Festival: Where Our Cultures Connect event. The award was accepted by Mayor Helen Tran and Council Member Kimberly Calvin, who were attending the NLC conference.

The NLC City Cultural Diversity award recognizes cities that developed innovative programs demonstrating cultural diversity and promoting inclusive resident involvement.

“Festival was an amazing event,” said Mayor Helen Tran. “The performances, the food, the art, and the crowds all highlighted our diverse and inclusive community. I was so proud to accept the award along with Council Member Calvin on behalf of San Bernardino.

Festival: Where Our Cultures Connect, was an all-day event held on October 8, 2022, at Seccombe Lake Park. It featured musical and dance performances on multiple stages, an artist’s village, an interactive kids’ village, a car show, karate demonstrations, cultural exhibits, roving performers, community booths, food vendors and a petting zoo. Each zone highlighted the many diverse communities, artists, and performers that reside in San Bernardino.  Attendance for the inaugural Festival was estimated to be between 7,000 and 10,000.

“To receive such a highly competitive national award for San Bernardino’s first Festival speaks volumes to the vision and hard work of the entire Parks staff and countless volunteers,” said Parks and Recreation Director Lydie Gutfeld. “I could not be prouder.”

At the sold-out awards ceremony, National League of Cities officials stated that there were 51 submissions from across the country for the award. Judging was conducted by a panel of NLC officials from Auburn, Virginia; Cerritos, California; Kenmore, Washington; Dumfries, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; and Tempe, Arizona.

“Creating diverse and inclusive programs within our communities is a key element to making our residents feel included and supported,” said NLC President and Mayor of Tacoma, WA, Victoria Woodards.

Council Member Kimberly Calvin noted, “After receiving the award, leaders from other cities from across our region, state, and nation took notice. People came up to me saying, San Bernardino is back. And we are.”

San Bernardino’s award was for cities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000 residents.

Tran and Calvin

Click on "View the PDF" to read the press release.