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 45,000 people from United States and around the world attend the four-day event each year.
The 1st Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival was held in OC Fair and Event Center, the 2nd one at OC Great Park, the 3rd year, the festival came back at the OC Fair and Event Center. This year again in OC Fair and Event Center, the festival will run from the 16th to the 19th of May, 2013.
Visitors enter the festival area through the “Civilizations Path”, which consists of 14 gates each representing different civilizations like The Hittite Empire, The Kingdom of Commagene, Lydia, The Persian Empire, The Urartu State (Armenians), The Phrygia, The Ionian Civilization,The Assyria, Troy, The Roman Empire,The Byzantine Empire, The Great Seljuq Empire, The Ottoman Empire, and Turkish Republic. 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, Van, Gaziantep, Isparta, Burdur and Kilis) 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 Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on the island of Akhtamar also sits on the festival ground amazingly realistic from inside and outside, two fifth of its original size is one of the most visited places of the festival.
The replica of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul houses more than 120 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 Coffeehouse. 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 stretchy Maras’s ice-cream. The Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival is a feast for all of the five senses!
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