Successful Armenian Relief Society Festival Draws Community Together
by Asbarez
Friday, May 14th, 2010


GLENDALE-While the Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A.'s 9th
Annual Armenian Festival has now concluded, surely it will be
remembered by its record breaking attendees as a weekend full of
celebration, highlighting the great offerings of Armenian culture and
the anniversary of the now century-old Armenian Relief Society.

Held on May 1 and 2 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, the festival's
opening ceremony commenced with the march of Homenetmen Girl Scouts
lead by their flag bearers and accompanied by drum roll. Following
this procession, ARS Saturday School students sang the American and
Armenian national anthems and ARS members sang the ARS anthem,
accompanied by Alfred Mardoyan who directed the choir.

Master of Ceremonies Arshalous Darpinyan introduced the numerous
guests and dignitaries present at the ceremony. In attendance were ARS
Central Executive Board Chairperson Vicky Marashlian and Central
Executive Board Advisor Nova Hindoyan. Guests also included Los
Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian; district representatives
from Senator Carol Liu and Congressman Adam Schiff's offices; Joylean
Wagner, Vice-President of the Glendale Unified School District Board
of Education; Nayiri Nahabedian, Glendale Unified School District
Board of Education Member; representatives from the Armenian National
Committee, Armenian Youth Federation, Homenetmen, Hamazkayin, and
various other organizations.

During the invocation, Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian, offered his blessing to all organizers and participants.

`Through the ARS, generation after generation of Armenian women have
bettered the lives of brothers and sisters through their humanitarian
efforts and social services, and have played a crucial role in the
preservation of our precious heritage with events, such as this
festival,' said the Prelate.

`You, ARS members have proven yourselves as the worthy heirs of the
founding generation, and we can be certain and confident that with
members as devoted as you, this organization will continue to thrive
for centuries more,' he added.

Following the invocation, ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Sossie
Poladian conveyed the Regional Executive Board's message, stating
`...the secret to our success has been dedication, hard work and
devotion towards our humanitarian objectives.' She also added, `This
festival has been a perfect setting for accomplishing two of our
objectives: to promote the Armenian culture and passing on our
heritage. Our Saturday and After School program students have been
involved in our festival from the beginning, and the students from the
numerous dance studios have joined us to make each year a special
experience for all involved.'

Poladian concluded by thanking the young performers and professional
entertainers, as well as other ARS volunteers for their many hours of
service during the festival. She also presented a plaque to Chief
Financial Officer Tsolak Khatcherian of Karoun Dairies, Inc., which
has sponsored the festival for the last nine years.

Harout Boghossian, District Representative of Senator Carol Liu's
office, presented a certificate to the ARS on behalf of Senator Liu
and one vendor, Hasmik Kldjian, presented a framed 3-D ARS Centennial
logo.

Once the festivities began, it was apparent that Armenians and
non-Armenians alike were enjoying the numerous attractions. The lower
level of the auditorium was dedicated to featuring a wide array of
traditional Armenian displays. This extensive cultural section offered
spectators the opportunity to enjoy exhibits of regional costumes,
artwork, and demonstrations of how `lavash' (thin Armenian bread) and
string cheese are made.

Fellow compatriotic unions participated with booths featuring a
Kharpert specialty soup; another featuring tea from a `samovar' and
`nazoog' cookies by the Iranian-Armenian community; as well as the
Union of New Julfa's booth featuring individuals dressed in Charmahal
and New Persia costumes. The lower level also provided the perfect
venue for children to be immersed with games and live entertainment.

The upper level included over twenty five vendors participating in
this year's festival. Live music by well-known singers, dance
performances by Armenian folk dance groups, and dance lessons kept
festival-goers continually entertained as they mingled over ethnic
food and pastries.

The weekend-long festival's atmosphere was full of vibrant energy and
spirit as people from communities near and far came together to enjoy
the rich nature of Armenian culture. Indeed, if a great program,
attendance, and a most memorable weekend are to judge, then it is
without question that the 9th Annual Armenian Festival was an absolute
success.

Visit www.arswestusa.org for more information about the Armenian
Relief Society of Western USA, Inc. or call (818) 500-1343. The
Regional Headquarters are located at 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale,
CA 91202