World’s tallest man, whirling dervishes at Anatolian festival

Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger

No need to go to Turkey to see Konya’s famed whirling dervishes or grab some fresh gozlemes (savory flat bread).

Traditions, authentic food, even re-creations of some of the country’s famed cities and landmarks will be on display this weekend at the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival in Costa Mesa.

This year visitors also will have face time and photo opps with Sultan Kosen, 31, whom Guinness World Records two years ago dubbed the tallest living man. He’s 8 feet, 3 inches tall and comes from the village of Mardin in southeastern Turkey.


To get the feel of the country, visitors can stroll amid replicas of famous landmarks such as Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar with more than 120 crafts and food booths, a scaled-down Topkapi Palace and cities of Konya, Izmir and others. It’s all a backdrop for authentic foods (simit, or bread rings, yogurt soup, kebabs and more) and demonstrations on traditional ways such as carpet weaving, stone-carving and calligraphy.

And then there’s the not-so-ancient world of Kidsland, which has pony rides, face-painting and inflatable jumpers.

The festival runs from Thursday through Sunday at the OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Tickets cost $12 for adults 13 and older for a single day and $9 for a four-day pass; and $6 for children 7 to 12 years old for a single day and $9 for a four-day pass.

Info: Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival
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