Skokie Festival of Cultures set for May 21-22

April 11, 2016 02:35 AM

More than 25,000 people are expected to celebrate the 26th Annual Skokie Festival of Cultures on May 21 and 22, 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.

“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, and a merchandise marketplace. In addition, this year we will hold a one hour international short film festival at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 20, the night before the festival.”

The 2016 edition of the free festival will also feature the Lakeshore Beverage International Beer Tasting from 12-7 p.m. on Saturday and from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. The tasting will offer six 2 oz. beers, followed by one 12 oz. beer of the attendee’s choice. Admission to the beer tasting tent is $8.

Skokie’s unique cultural journey launches at Oakton Park in Skokie and will kick off when visitors receive their free “Passport to the World,” the official guide to all festival happenings. The passport will include a schedule of the many ethnic performances, educational information, and a festival map, which will help attendees make their way through the park full of attractions. The opening ceremonies will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. on the World Showcase stage.

The 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 35 cultures represented at the festival will range from Armenian to Azerbaijani, German to Greek, and Tibetan to Thai.

Oakton Park is located at the corner of Oakton Street and Skokie Boulevard in Skokie, at 4701 Oakton St. The festival will begin at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, ending at 7 p.m.

The 26th Annual Skokie Park District is sponsored by NorthShore University HealthSystem, First Bank & Trust – Skokie, First Student, Bath Planet, Com Ed, State Farm, 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

Friday, May 20
International Short Films, Oakton Park, 8-9 p.m.

Saturday, May 21
Festival Day 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lakeshore Beverage International Beer Tasting, 12-7 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies, 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 22
Festival Day 2, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lakeshore Beverage International Beer Tasting, 12-5 p.m.
Festival raffle winner announced, 6:30 p.m.

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