Skokie Festival of Cultures set for May 20 & 21

(5.3.17) More than 25,000 people are expected to descend upon Skokie’s Oakton Park on May 20-21, to celebrate the 27th 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 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.

See the Festival's entertainment lineup here.

“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. The festivities will kickoff with a one hour international short film festival at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 19, the night before the festival.”

The free festival will also feature an 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.

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 36 cultures represented at the festival will range from Haitian to Hellenic, Tibetan to Turkish — and Laotian to Lithuanian. 

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 27th Annual Skokie Park District is sponsored by NorthShore University HealthSystem, First Bank & Trust – Skokie, First Student, State Farm, Power Home Remodeling Group, Nicor Gas, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Eye Level, Window Works, 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