Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving. Should you have questions that are not addressed below, or have any suggestions or comments for us, you may visit the feedback section of our website or send us an email at: info@chicagoturkishfestival.org If you would like to download the general information about the Festival please click here for English and here for Turkish.

What is the purpose of the annual Chicago Turkish Festival?

The purpose of the annual Chicago Turkish Festival is to introduce Turkish history, culture, music, art, cuisine, and hospitality to the culturally diverse community of Chicago and Midwest USA. Every year participants from Turkey and Turkish-Americans living in Chicago get together and organize the festival under the leadership of the Turkish Consulate General of Chicago and The Turkish-American Cultural Alliance.

Where and when is the festival held?

The Chicago Turkish Festival is held in the heart of downtown Chicago, at Daley Plaza across from the City Hall or at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue by the Tribune and NBC towers.

The festival is held for 3 to 4 days, usually starting on a Wednesday or Thursday and ending on a Saturday, at the end of May each year. Some years it has been postponed to September due to extenuating circumstances and other major events happening in town, as was the case due to NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

Approximately how many people visit the festival?

Since the festival is held at the heart of downtown Chicago, tens of thousands of visitors get to enjoy the festival daily. The festival area gets very crowded especially during the lunch hours when various cultural performances take place at the Plaza stage. It is estimated that over 100,000 people visit the festival grounds each year.

Who performs at the festival?

The majority of groups performing at the festival come from Turkey. Turkish folk dancers and music, Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi's Whirling Dervishes (Sema), the fashion show, and the Ottoman-Turkish Army Marching Band (Mehter Takimi) make up the main performing groups at the festival.

Also, there are various booths on the festival ground where visitors can watch, learn and enjoy live demonstrations of carpet weaving, calligraphy, paper marbling, ceramic art, shadow theater, etc. all performed by professional Turkish artists.

How can one volunteer at the festival?

We owe much of the Festival's success to the hundreds of generous and dedicated volunteers thanks to their selfless contributions, time and efforts. If you would like to volunteer during the Festival please fill out a Volunteer Form.

Who can participate as vendor or exhibitor at the festival?

The number of participants and exhibitors both from Turkey and the US grows each year. Since the aim of the festival is to promote Turkish culture, history, art and cuisine, we require applicants to present a display, demonstration, or activity that will serve this specific purpose.

Please refer to the Participate section of our website for further information on participation rules or send us an email at: info@chicagoturkishfestival.org

Who covers the cost of the festival?

We receive sponsorships from the exhibitors, participants, individual friends of the festival, and numerous Turkish and Americans establishments, as well as the Turkish Cultural Promotion Fund. The Festival budget is allocated between promotional and advertising expenses promoting Turkey and the Festival, as well as towards the expenses for exhibits and the professional work and involvement of numerous cultural and art groups coming from Turkey who need accommodations and assistance before and during the festival.

Prior to and during the festival, daily duties and responsibilities of organizing and running the festival are carried out by hundreds of volunteers, therefore adding no further burden to the festival budget.

For further information about past sponsors and the sponsorship documents and forms please refer to the FAQ questions below or visit the Sponsor Us section of our website.

How can one become a sponsor of the festival?

There are four different levels of sponsorships within the Chicago Turkish Festival sponsorship package. Additionally, it is possible to become a sponsor of the festival under the 'Service/Product Sponsorship' or 'Friends of the Chicago Turkish Festival' categories.

Please refer to the Sponsor Us section of the website for further information on sponsorship or send us an email at: info@chicagoturkishfestival.org

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