St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert held its 9th annual Armenian Cultural Festival on the weekend of November 19th and 20th. This was a wonderful way to start the busy Thanksgiving week. More than 2,000 people attended this year, making the Festival a great success!

Because of the overwhelming response from the community who come to enjoy our food each year, we added a second food line this year.  As a result, we were able to serve everyone the many varieties of our delicious Armenian foods, without a wait.  Many commented on how the second food line improved their  Festival experience this year.

The traditional favorites of Beef and Chicken Kebob, as well as the delicious lamb chops were a highlight for many.  Of course, we also served other traditional favorites of Kufta, Lahmajoon, Cheese Boreg and Yalangi Grape Leaves.  The  Pastry table was consistently busy with those who came to enjoy our deliciously sweet Paklava, Khadaif and Shaabiyat.  Many attendees wait all year for our Festival so that they can enjoy our delicious Armenian foods and culture, which we are so happy to be able to share everyone.

Several Vendors came from all over to provide the opportunity for people to purchase items of jewelry, nets and candies, honey, gifts and more!

We expanded our children’s area again this year with an extra large bonce house that included a slide and maze.  We also had several children’s games and a face-painting booth.

The Ani Dance Ensemble entertained the guests with their traditional and beautiful costumes and        Armenian dancing.  While in between dance performances, the guests could enjoy dancing to the Armenian music, which was provided by DJ Rex and Aram Lampadjian, while enjoying the beautiful voice of Samuel Samuelian.

The Festival Raffle was held on Sunday afternoon.  The grand prize of a beautiful 12 Karat Gold Peridot Necklace was generously donated by Jacci Tutunjian from Smoke Tree Jewelers.  Other prizes were an original Acrylic Sculpture, a Flat Screen television, gift certificates for    dinners and golf, a Nintendo Game,      Armenian Brandy and other jewelry    pieces.  Our 60/40 raffle was well received and very successful again this year. Together, the raffles contributed nicely to the Festival income this year.

Each year, our Armenian Cultural Festival helps to raise awareness of our Armenian heritage here in the desert. We are able to share some of our traditions, music, dance, artwork, and of course, our delicious specialty foods, with the community.

The Parish Council and Armenian Festival Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank our many Sponsors for their support of this year’s Armenian Cultural Festival. Because of their generous contributions, along with the overwhelming food sales, this year’s    Festival was very successful and         profitable.

Thank you from the 2016 Festival Committee