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The Tapestry of
Montebello Today

Sound of drums beating, the rhythm of live Armenian music and aroma of shish kabob captured the air at the First Annual Armenian Food Fair and Festival held on Saturday, May 31 [2008].  Over 3,000 walked through the gates of the Holy Cross Cathedral for an unforgettable day of food and fun.

The festival menu ranged from old time favorites which included a choice of shish kebab or lule kebab dinner with smoked eggplant, salad and rice, to specialties like Herrisa, Soujoukh sandwiches and 1,000 Piroshki individually prepared by Manik Ajemian.  [Some exaggeration here, according to her son.]

The smell of fire burning while preparing handmade lavash enticed many to stand in line to take a bite of lavash bread topped with za'atar or nutella, prepared by Azniv Markarian and her sister Sonia Thomassian.

After indulging in delicious foods, guests were eager to stroll around and join in all the festivities.  Montebello's Alex Dance Academy and ARS [Armenian Relief Society] Nairy Chapter Saturday School students performed on stage, as well as an evening performance of the Krounk Dance ensemble featuring Arman Martyrian. ...

Those that joined the food demonstrations led by Denise Hagopian had the opportunity to learn how to make lahmajoun from Nellie of Hye Bakery in Montebello, rice pilaf, and delicious home-made string cheese by Sylva Kaloyan.

Vendors lined the lot offering a unique shopping experience for attendees, from the Pampered Chef Booth, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry to the Fiscal Credit Union.  There was something for everyone at the festival. ...

"We had a great team working hard to make sure everything ran smoothly prior to and during the event.  Each and every individual in the festival committee played an integral role in preparing for this event and brought different strengths to the team," said Anita Altounian, event chairperson of the Armenian Food Fair and Festival.

The committee is looking forward to next year's festival and is eager to start planning for 2009.

If you'd like to participate in next year's festival, please contact Holy Cross Cathedral at (323) 727-1113 or visit us at www.armenianfoodfair.com

Excerpted from Spotlight on Montebello, July - August, 2008.

 


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