Volunteers from 92 cultures convene to plan the 29th Annual Skokie Festival of Cultures

  • Representatives from 92 cultures convene to plan the 29th Annual Skokie Festival of CulturesSuresh Bodiwala

    Representatives from 92 cultures convene to plan the 29th Annual Skokie Festival of CulturesSuresh Bodiwala

Updated 4/22/2019 8:05 AM

Skokie IL: Representatives from 92 different cultures convened on Monday - April 15, 2019, to organize the 29th Skokie Festival of Cultures scheduled to take place on May 18 & 19, 2019 at Oakton Park. The three-day event is expected to draw an estimated 25,000 people from the Village of Skokie and surrounding areas.

The festival will kick- off on Friday evening with an International Short Film Festival and feature more than 60 ethnic performances throughout the weekend as visitors experience the cultural diversity existing within Skokie through the event theme "Passport to the World."


John Marquardt, chairman of the Planning Committee and Pamela Zeid from the Village of Skokie led the volunteer meeting to finalize the cultural booth selection criteria.

This year's event is expected to feature cultural booths highlighting cultural diversity existing within the Skokie community. The purpose of the festival is to bring together people from the Village for an entire weekend allowing them to celebrate one another's customs and cultural backgrounds in a fun and colorful setting.

The food vendors for this year's event include Skokie Rotary, Windsor Ice Cream, Blackhawk BBQ & Seafood, Lee Concessions, Tamale Express, LC Restaurant, Uncle Zorba's Greek Foods, Urhai Community Service Center and the Perk & Pickle Food truck.

This year's event is sponsored by Geico, NorthShore University HealthSystem, State Farm, Nicor Gas, Renewal by Andersen, Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool, Byline Bank, Chiro One Wellness Centers, Eye Level, Power Home Remodeling, First Bank Chicago-Highland Park, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Skokie Valley.

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John Marquardt, and Pamela Zeid who led meeting did an excellent job at addressing questions from participating organizations; and generating enthusiasm and excitement of the upcoming event.

Krishna Goyal, Member, Skokie Human Relations Commission, who has been serving the Village of Skokie for more than 20 years and Chandrakant Modi, M.D. Chairperson, Gandhi Memorial Chicago, also attended the meeting. Due to Easter Sunday Babu Verma could not attend this meeting however he is part of cultural committee executive member in Village od Skokie.

"This is the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and we are elated to be participating in this event to celebrate Gandhi's life through literature and photos," said Chandrakant Modi, M.D.

Gandhi Memorial Chicago will also participate in Skokie's annual Fourth of July Parade. Arnold Oskin who organizes the parade shared that slots are starting to fill up and those who care interested can register on the website. Gandhi Memorial Chicago float will be part of Fourth of July Parade in Skokie.

For businesses or community organizations interested in supporting the festival through donations may contact Jon Marquardt at 847- 674-1500, ext 3520. In return for their support Friends of the Festival will receive advertisement during the event Skokie Park District facilities and lobbies.

The planning committee is also looking for volunteers for the event. Volunteers may go to the Festival website and submit an online application.