Mardi Gras ~ Casino Night

St. Garabed’s Mardi Gras themed Casino Night was a huge success! Approximately 60 people attended and enjoyed the fundraiser put on by this year’s Parish Council on Saturday night, February 6th. The Parish Council would like to thank all those who attended and the many sponsors who donated towards the event. The Church was able to raise approximately $1,400.

Our social hall was decorated spectacularly! Foil curtains surrounded the room that was decorated with beautiful centerpieces of feathers, masks and Mardi Gras beads. The all night buffet included Louisiana and New Orleans themed foods for all to enjoy. Shrimp skewers, beef, pork and chicken were some of the main courses, along with potatoes, dirty rice, and salads. Traditional Kings Cakes were included on the dessert table, along with key lime cheesecakes, ambrosia salads, and macaroons.

Guests enjoyed playing the various casino games with their $500 play money received with their entrance ticket. There were several big winners having fun on the craps tables, blackjack and poker tables. Many great prizes were awarded at the end of the night, which included a poker chip set, card shuffler, Armenian wines, and gift certificates to a couple of wonderful Italian restaurants on El Paseo.

Magician, Rob, amazed and entertained the guest throughout the night with his wonderful card magic. Personally signed playing cards were revealed in the most surprising locations during each trick. It was truly magic!

The evening also included some wonderful Jazz music played by a 4-piece live band. Needless to say, the evening included some wonderful entertainment for all who attended. Everyone had a great time celebrating Mardi Gras! The celebration of Poon Paregentan was the perfect way to feast before Lent.

Women’s Prayer Day at The Diocesan Headquarters

Ladies Society Central Council once again joyously hosted Women’s Prayer Day on February 10th, 2016.  Presided by the Diocesan Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, this year’s theme was “The Praying Community”.

The guest homilist was Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan of St. Apkar church of Scottsdale, Arizona; and the prayer service included numerous priests and archpriests within the Western Diocese Churches.  Fr. Zacharia’s inspiring message of compassion, non-judgmental approach towards others, not to be neglectful toward others, and help and care for fellow people builds better relationships and thus better community. He spoke of the importance to pray to God through mere conversation with Him and to remain silent so that we can hear His holy message to us.

Prayer service was concluded with Women’s Appreciation Day.  Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Chairlady Lena Simonian marked this occasion with a certificate of appreciation to each Ladies Society member who has served for over 15 years.  There were over 60 honorees from churches of the Western Diocese including as far as from Yettem to Rancho Mirage.  Archbishop Derderian thanked them for their service and unwavering dedication to their respective churches, family, and communities.

Festivities concluded with a beautiful luncheon and musical performances for over 170 guests.

8th Annual Armenian Cultural Festival

St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church of the Desert held its 8 th annual Armenian Cultural Festival on the weekend of November 14th and 15th. This year ’s Festival was a wonderful success! With more than 3,000 people attending our Festival… we had the largest exposure and attendance in our 8 -year history of Festivals.

Many attendees commented on how they wait each year to attend our Festival and enjoy our delicious foods and culture. As we continue to improve on each Festival experience, we can hope to become a household name in the community.

At this year ’s Festival we had several interesting and inviting Vendors that provided an opportunity for people to purchase items of jewelry, nuts and candies, honey, cake pops, and more! The children ’s area was expanded to include a fun bounce house and face painting for kids to enjoy. The Ani Dance Ensemble entertained the guests with their traditional and beautiful costumes and Armenian dancing. While in between dance performances, guests could enjoy dancing to the Armenian music provided by DJ Rex and Aram Lampajian, while also enjoying the beautiful voice of Samuel Samuelian.

Our Festival Raffle was also very successful this year. The grand prize of a beautiful gold bracelet with multi -colored precious and semi -precious stones was generously donated by Garo & Jacci Tutunjian from Smoke Tree Jewelers. They also donated a beautiful gold and sapphire cross and amethyst pendant. Other prizes were an iPad Mini, Flat Screen television, Armenian brandy, and other jewelry pieces. In addition to our general raffle, we added a second raffle opportunity this year. Our 60/40 raffle was well received and very successful. Together, the raffles contributed nicely to the Festival income this year.

Everyone who attended this year ’s Festival also enjoyed our traditional Armenian foods. The food lines were busy all day! We would like to thank the many volunteers who helped to prepare and serve food during the two -day Festival. It takes a considerable amount of planning, energy and expense to produce a successful Festival. The Festival Committee, along with the many volunteers, works very hard towards organizing and implementing the festival each 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 the most successful and profitable Festival in our eight -year history of Festivals.

Thank you… See you at next year ’s Festival!

Christmas Services Schedule