The Anatolian Cultures & Food Festival 2013


The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival is a cultural and historical event that includes exhibitions, food, art craft, performances, dances and live music activities. More than 40,000 people from United States and around the world attend the four-day event each year.

The 1st Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival were held in OC Fairgrounds and the 2nd one at OC Great Park. This year, the festival comes back at the OC Fairgrounds on May 16th through 19th.

Visitors enter the festival area through the “Civilizations Path”, which consists of 14 gates each representing different civilizations like Hittite, Troy, Urartu, Frig, Lydia, Ionia, Kingdom of Commagane, Persians, Byzantium, Roman Empire, Great Seljuk Empire, Ottoman Empire, and Republic of Turkiye. Anatolia has been a cradle for all these and many other civilizations throughout the history. At each gate, actors wearing authentic costumes of each civilization welcome and greet all visitors.

Three dimensional giant-sized replicas of five different cities of Anatolia (Istanbul, Konya, Antalya, Mardin and Van) and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul are assembled with panoramic backgrounds. Artisans traveling all the way from Turkey display and demonstrate many traditional handicrafts like hand- woven carpets, the arts of water marbling, calligraphy, stone-carving and filigree during the four-day festival.

The replica of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul houses more than 100 booths with food, handcrafts, souvenirs, and art exhibits. Visitors are able to freshen themselves up with a cup of Turkish coffee or several glasses of tea at another busy spot of the festival area, named after the traditional Ottoman Coffee House. Just like the real Grand Bazaar, visitors can walk through the booths displaying hand-made jewelry, scarves, lucky charms and hand- woven carpet displays accompanied by the Anatolian hospitality.

Visitors are drawn into 99 different kinds of food including kebabs and doner (Gyros), various kinds of desserts including baklava, dumplings, and the world famous tough and sticky Maras’s ice-cream. The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival is a feast for all of the five senses!

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