Last year, almost 30,000 visitors came to the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival and enjoyed a breathtaking mix of food, music and history from a magical land. This year they kept the best and added some exciting surprises. Highlights include: A pathway dedicated to the civilizations that have flourished in Anatolia with hand-sculpted arches symbolizing each one, from the Trojans to the Ottomans; models in authentic costumes will bring history to life; a new 3-D reconstruction of the magnificent Topkapi Palace in Istanbul in addition to the existing sets of five major cities, complete with the Bosphorus in Istanbul, the ancient ruins of Antalya, the Rumi museum in Konya, the Armenian Church of Van and the stone dwellings of Mardin; an exciting program of live music, dance and performances each day and evening at the main concert stage. Returning are last year's showstoppers, the Whirling Dervishes, the Ottoman Marching Band and other regional dancers. 120 vendors offering authentic foods, crafts and other wares at an area styled after the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Dozens of craftsmen demonstrating traditional crafts such as weaving, miniature painting, calligraphy and carving. A children's area with a variety of games and activities, including traditional puppet theater and storytelling, as well as face-painting, interactive craft tables and bouncy castles. A replica of the Sultan Ahmet Fountain offering traditional refreshments like ayran (a yoghurt-drink) and fruit juices. Street vendors selling simit (a type of bagel) and boza (fermented malt) A world-champion arm wrestler offering a bout to challengers of all sizes. A prize will be handed out to anyone who lasts more than five seconds. The festival also offers a VIP lounge and press center.
May 6-9, 7 a.m.-8 p.m., 2010