Skokie Festival of Cultures set for May 19 & 20

May 13, 2018 12:05 PM
festival of cultures flags

More than 25,000 people are expected to descend upon Skokie’s Oakton Park on May 19-20, to celebrate the 28th Annual Skokie Festival of Cultures, where they will savor exotic tastes, listen to the traditional sounds of ethnic music, and experience the many cultures, languages and traditions that make up the Skokie community. 

Skokie’s unique cultural journey will begin when visitors receive their free “Passport to the World,” the official guide to all festival happenings. The passport, themed “Influential Women Around the World,” will include a schedule of more than 60 ethnic performances, and a festival map, which will help attendees make their way through the park full of attractions.

Festival website

“Not only will visitors to the festival experience dozens of cultural booths,” said the Festival Planning Committee’s Chairman Jon Marquardt, “attendees will also enjoy two days of ethnic folk music and dance, a wide range of food, unique arts and crafts, a merchandise marketplace, and children’s activities, including free First Bank & Trust train rides.”

The festivities will kickoff inside the park’s Oakton Center with a one hour international short film festival at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18, the night before the festival. On Saturday from 6-7 p.m., attendees may participate in the “Holi: Festival of Colours” an Indian celebration signifying the arrival of spring, and for many, a festive day to meet others, play, laugh, and repair broken relationships. The event features a free-for-all throwing and smearing of wet and dry colored powder on all who choose to participate.

The Pilsner Urquell International Beer Garden will be open from 12-7 p.m. on Saturday and from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. The free festival will also offer something for the younger set, with a children’s area, featuring hands-on exhibits and a place for children to learn and create.

The 40 cultural booths represented at the festival will range from Slovakian to Swedish, Cambodian to Croatian — and Iraqi to Irish. 

Oakton Park is located at 4701 Oakton St., in Skokie. The festival will begin at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, ending at 7 p.m. The opening ceremonies will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. on the World Showcase stage.

The 28th Annual Skokie Park District is sponsored by NorthShore University HealthSystem, Mullarkey Distributors, First Bank & Trust – Skokie, State Farm, Power Home Remodeling Group, Nicor Gas, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Renewal by Andersen, Eye Level, Bath Fitter, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Skokie Valley. The event is presented by the Skokie Park District, the Village of Skokie, and the Skokie Public Library.

For more information about the festival, call the Skokie Park District at (847) 674-1500 or visit the official Skokie Festival of Cultures website at

Festival Schedule

Oakton Park, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie

Full entertainment schedule to be announced at

Friday, May 18
International Short Films, Oakton Community Center, 7 p.m.  

Saturday, May 19 – Festival Day 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Pilsner Urquell International Beer Garden, 12 to 7 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies, 1 to 2 p.m.
Free Train Rides by First Bank & Trust, Skokie, 2-6 p.m.
Holi: Festival of Colours, 6 to 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 20 – Festival Day 2, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Pilsner Urquell International Beer Garden, 12 to 5 p.m.
Free Train Rides by First Bank & Trust, Skokie, 2-6 p.m.

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