SANTA ANNA—The 1st Annual Summer Festival & Blessing of the Grapes at the Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church took place on August 17th, in celebration of the day of the Feast of Assumption of Saint Mary the Mother of God.
On a blessed Sunday morning, the church service was conducted by the Pastor, Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, beginning at 10 a.m. The church was full of faithful members from the community. The service followed with the Blessing of the Grapes and continued with the festival program.
Over 600 Orange County Armenian families and community members attended the festival at the Forty Martyrs Armenian Church Complex organized by the Church Festival Committee.
The church service entailed the Blessing of Grapes and harisa which was prepared by the Orange County Community Kessabtsi members, as well as the Los Angeles Kessab Educational Association members. The Beloved town of Kessab is the home to the last indigenous Armenian population of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. All the proceeds that were raised from the Kessab booth on this day were donated to “Rebuild Kessab”.
The Festival was embraced by the community and it was full of attendees from the community, including organizations, institutions, Church members, young families, and professional men and women. The Festival was highly organized and functioning superbly throughout the entire day by the organizing committee.
The guests enjoyed delicious authentic Armenian foods, pastries, and refreshments. In addition, vendors displayed Armenian crafts, jewelry, and face painting. Children enjoyed the bouncy House and adults enjoyed their favorite past time games of backgammon and “Quanch”. Young adults also played chess and competed for first place. Of course what festival is worthwhile without music and dancing! Admittedly, the day was pleasantly entertaining for guests of all ages, with live performances by well-known artists Gagik Badalyan, Joseph Krikorian, Maxim Panossian, Children’s Songs by Magi Tunes, dance performances by Hamazkayin “Yeraz” ensemble, and Simon Oksazian Dance Class.