Families enjoy the sun at the Shoreline Aquatic Park in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

For a third year, the California Turkish Festival will return to Long Beach to celebrate Turkey and it’s Cappadocia region through food, art, live music, belly dancing and more on June 9 at Shoreline Aquatic Park.

Last year, the event drew some 6,000 people, according to Susan Fusun of the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California.

“We’re growing and we want to promote our culture and introduce our goods and services to non-Turkish communities,” Fusun said. “The festival is open to everybody.”

The event is free, but vendors with merchandise and food will be available for purchase.

Unlike previous years, this event will have a theme honoring the Cappadocia region. The area, in central Turkey, is known for its unique rock formations and early Christian churches. Cappadocia-themed decorations, photo booths and souvenirs will be available through several vendors.

A vendor list for the event is still being finalized, Fusun said.

For those who want to try some Turkish cuisine ahead of the event, Long Beach has welcomed two new Turkish establishments, Galata Halal Restaurant and Grill in Belmont Shore, owned by the family behind retail store Istanbul Home which will expand further with an ice cream shop; and Coffee Station on Pine Avenue.

Galata offers traditional Turkish dishes like falafel platers, İçli köfte kibbeh (stuffed, spiced ground meat with walnuts) and cacik (yogurt, cucumbers and garlic) dip are also available. Coffee Station offers various baklava, pistachio-stuffed filo dough (thin layers of unleavened dough) squares drenched in a sugar syrup.

Since the vendor list has not been finalized, it’s whether those eateries will be participating in the festival.

The festival is put on by Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California, a wide-reaching group with local chapters.

“It’s a diverse crowd, Long Beach is a very diverse community and it’s welcoming to everyone,” Fusun said. “That’s another factor that went into deciding to have our festival in this location.”

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Shoreline Aquatic Park, 200 Aquarium Way. Vendors interested in participating can email [email protected].

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with more information about potential vendors.