Thousands Mark 80th Anniversary at AYF Picnic

GLENDALE–More than 5,000 community members gathered at Verdugo Park Monday to mark the 80th anniversary of Armenian Independence at an Armenian Youth Federation organized picnic-festival which kicked off the independence-day celebration activities in the Southland.

The overcast skies did not keep the community members away–as families filed in the thousands to hear entertainment by Harout Pamboukjian and a special appearance by visiting superstar Nune Yessayan–both of whom ensured a celebratory mood at the gathering.

Children’s entertainer Vaco–as well as singer Sokrat also performed at the festival–which featured traditional Armenian food–children’s games and much more–attracting young and old to the festival.

"It is very encouraging for us to see the community come together to mark this very important anniversary in our history," said picnic organizer and AYF Central Executive member Shaghig Chahmelikian.

"I am happy that the AYF was able to serve as a conduit for the independence-day celebration," added Chahmelikian.

Prior to the start of the picnic 15 new members were indoctrinated to the ran’s of the AYF during special oath ceremony presided over by Miro Khanzadian.

Independence day celebrations will continue Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium–where Armenian presidential advisor Vahan Hovanessian will keynote a public gathering–which also features a unique cultural/entertainment program.

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