Review : Chicago Turkish Festival 2011

The Turkish Festival in Chicago was a great success. Taking place at the Daley Plaza, one of the most central regions of downtown, lots of visitors were able to attend and enjoy the offerings for 4 days, making this event one of the biggest events of the year. To see some stills from the festival, browse our slideshow below.

The motto of the festival was “Chicago Goes Turkish”, and the poster featured the Bean reflecting Istanbul landmarks over the Chicago skyline in the background, giving the perfect message for the event. Artists and craftsmen came from Turkey to promote their work, including ceramic art, hand-made glassware, Turkish rugs, traditional jewelry, silk carpet weaving, paper marbling, calligraphy, and meerschaum figures. Many attendees were fascinated by the uniqueness and quality of the products, and bought gifts for their family, children, friends or themselves, taking a piece of Turkey back home. The main stage was filled with performances, music and Turkish culture throughout the event, although the breaks in between was a bit long and the stage couldn’t be set up outside on the last day because of the weather conditions.

Also included was Turkish cuisine, of course. Thousands of cups of Turkish coffee were served during the festival. For lunch, kabobs, doner sandwiches, vegetable and meat dishes were ready; and for desserts, what could be better than some Turkish delight, baklava; or for a cold treat, Kahraman Maras orchid ice cream? Offering fun for the whole family, the kids were entertained with traditional shadow theater, clowns, story telling, coloring, face painting and games. They could even go behind the shadow theater and experience the act themselves. Another interesting view from the festival was the celebration for the champions of the Turkish football league, which was decided with the final games on Sunday. The celebration featured a big flag of the winning team brought to the stage by its fans.

Don’t forget to attend next year’s festival if you have the chance, because it is probably the best thing to do in town whenever it takes place. The festival is getting bigger and greater every year, thanks to the efforts of Turkish American Cultural Alliance of Chicago, the Consul General of Turkey in Chicago and the volunteers, so, expect as much fun and entertainment next year as well!

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