Food and Folk Dancing at ARS’ 10th Annual Armenian Festival in Glendale

Last year's festival featured lavash-making lessons

GLENDALE—On Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1 the Glendale Civic Auditorium will come alive with music by popular Armenian singers, folk dance performances, costume shows, delectable foods and pastries, cultural exhibits and activities for people of all ages as the 10th Annual Armenian Cultural & Food Festival gets under way.

While the cultural component of the festival, organized by the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA, is a draw, many people visit for the delectable Armenian food. Satenig Nalbandian, who has ordered the food for the festival for 10 years running, expects that about 1,500 kufta, 1,500 sarma, 3,000 kebab skewers, and 1,000 lahmajune will be served. As many as 10,000 people are expected this year, in keeping with previous years’ attendance numbers.

Proceeds from the annual festival go to support the ARS Western USA’s various programs benefiting the needy, including the ARS Social Services Center, the Child, Youth and Family Guidance Center, and college scholarships.

Coinciding with the year that has been designated as the “Year of the Armenian Child” by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the festival will highlight children’s musical and dancing talents. ARS Saturday School students will perform songs during the opening ceremonies, which are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 30th, and festival guests will be entertained throughout both days with performances by various music schools and dance groups.

With Glendale and surrounding cities being home to as many as 300,000 Armenians, the annual festival celebrates the richness of Armenian culture, allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy first-hand many deep-rooted traditions. Aside from the costume shows, Armenian folk dancing, and Armenian singers, the auditorium’s lower level will feature displays of regional costumes and artwork.   

The Glendale Civic Auditorium is located at 1401 N. Verdugo Rd. in Glendale, Calif. Festival hours are 1 p.m. to 12 midnight on Saturday, April 30; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Admission is $3 per person. The Los Angeles Times will run coupons on April 24, 2011 for free admission.

For more information, contact the ARS at (818) 500-1343, office@arswestusa.org or visit here.

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