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Chicago Turkish Festival

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Barlas Bildir

Dear Colleagues, Partners and Friends of Turkish Trade Mission in Chicago, it’s that time of the year again!

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Chicago Turkish Festival will be celebrating its 11th year between May 31 – June 1, 2013. For the first time since inception, this increasingly popular festival will be held at Pioneer Court, one of downtown Chicago’s busiest landmark locations along the lively Magnificent Mile, right between the NBC and Tribune Towers and Chicago River, at 401 N. Michigan Avenue.

The Festival will be open to general public free of charge from 10 AM to 9 PM CST on both days. Live performances will take place on the Pioneer Court stage during the day and in the evenings.

* Opening Gala * Fundraising for Mitochondrial Disease * Silent Auction * Dinner * Entertainment *

To celebrate the opening of the 11th Annual Chicago Turkish Festival and raise funds for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, the Festival will hold a private black tie optional outdoor Opening Gala at Pioneer Court on the evening of Thursday, May 30th at 7:00pm. A limited number of tickets for this event are available to purchase through this web site starting on April 15th.

This year’s Festival will once again feature demonstrations of art, dance, music and gourmet food, where Chicagoans will get the opportunity to celebrate, learn, and savor Turkish hospitality, culture, heritage and cuisine.

Without leaving the comfort of Pioneer Court, visitors will vividly experience various regions of Turkey together with the participants from Turkey and Turkish-Americans living in the culturally diverse community of Chicago. Guests will be able to browse and buy Turkish products, souvenirs and handicrafts, find travel information, participate in activities for children, view many authentic demonstrations and performances, sample Turkish cuisine, and do much, much more at the Festival.

When guests arrive at Pioneer Court, they will find thousands of visitors browsing through over 30 Festival booths and enjoying the festival’s events on daily basis. At the festival you will be able to:

  • Enter the Plaza through the doors of a traditional Safranbolu House and enjoy the Land of Civilizations Exhibit reflecting the history of Anatolia and the Turkish Republic
  • Walk through the captivating sights and sounds of the world famousCappadocia region and this year’s guest city of Nevsehir (please Click here for a New York Times travel section article);
  • Enjoy live mid-day shows of marching Ottoman Military Band, memorable performances of Turkish folk dancers, Whirling Dervishes, fashion show of traditional and modern Turkish couture and textiles, and authentic Turkish classical and folk music concert;
  • Watch the artistic demonstrations of silk carpet weaving, paper marbling, calligraphy, illuminations, ceramic art, and more;
  • Shop for hand-made arts and crafts from Cappadocia, Iznik ceramics and pottery, Turkish rugs, throws, bags, decorative pillows, glassware, traditional jewelry, handicrafts, and more;
  • Enjoy the aromas and tastes of rich Ottoman Turkish cuisine, sample gourmet food, including Turkish style grilled meat patties by Sultanahmet Koftecisi, kabobs, doner sandwiches, vegetable and meat dishes, desserts, baklava at restaurant stands; shop for Turkish delights, apricots, hazelnuts, figs at grocery stands; taste some Turkish beer at or EFES Beer Garden, and much more;
  • Taste other popular Turkish culinary delights such as Turkish style bagel,simit; have a slice of MADO’s unique Kahraman Maras orchid ice creamwhich once again we expect to serve more than 1,000 gallons; or sip a cup of Turkish coffee of which more than 10,000 cups are served throughout the Festival;
  • Let your kids enjoy all sorts of activities from the Turkish shadow theater, clowns, story telling, coloring, face painting and games.
  • The event will be broadcast on a number of US and Turkish channels, introducing Turkey and its culture to millions of American viewers.