About Festival

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, Mardin, Van, Izmir, Gaziantep, Adiyaman 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!


Need an adventure? Are you ready to treat your tastebuds and zoom back centuries to a mystical time and place?

Then the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival 2013 awaits you. No need to pack because all you have to do is grab your hat and camera and head to Costa Mesa for a cultural roller coaster ride. Best of all this one costs less than $12 per adult.

There you will find an entire region come to life with spectacular 3-D sets, mouthwatering offerings of foods, including freshly-made kebabs, pastries and Turkish coffee and the catchy music of dancers and musicians in costume.

No plane tickets are necessary for this trip of a life-time. Just put on your walking shoes and explore the life-like exhibits of famous landmarks like the Sultan's Palace in Istanbul, the House of Mary in Izmir, the sufi poet Rumi's museum in Konya, the Armenian Church of Akhdamar and much more. Let these historic sites come to life with crafts, music and dance demonstrations and be prepared to stuff your bags with handmade jewelry, your name in Ottoman calligraphy, Turkish carpets, stone carvings and much more.

For kids, the festival has everything from authentic sweet treats like stretchy ice-cream, baklava and refreshing juices and yoghurt drinks on tap at the historic Ahmet III Fountain. They can join in on the dancing, have their pictures taken with Ottoman sultans and exclusively this year, they can shake the largest hands in the world which belong to Sultan Kosen, designated the Tallest Living Person in the World by The Guiness Book of Records.

Food is always the main attraction at the festival and visitors can savor freshly rolled out gozlemes (flat breads), steamy bowls of manti (dumplings with yoghurt sauce), stuffed vegetables and authentic doner, served up this year by a famous restaurant from the city of Antep, Turkey's culinary center.

A host of chefs, food writers and historians will also be giving demuos and talking about the history of Anatolian Cuisine.


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