ROYAL OAK, Michigan — A warm summer night and a rich collage of Armenian culture greeted guests as they arrived at the Royal Oak Farmers Market for the 11th Annual Armenia Fest on Saturday, July 21. Live Armenian folk and contemporary music from the Armenia Fest All-Star Band under the direction of Vaughn Masropian filled the air while the crowd buzzed with enthusiasm for this much anticipated annual festival.
The festival formally opened at 6 p.m. with introductions by David Terzibashian, Fest co-chair, Vaughn Masropian, master of ceremonies, and committee member Corinne Khederian, followed by the introduction of several special guests. American and Armenian national anthems were performed by Deacon Rubik Mailian and the pride in this wonderful event, designed to showcase the rich Armenian culture, was evident in the rousing applause that followed the anthems.
As always, a special highlight of the evening was a thrilling performance by the Hamazkayin Arax Dance Troupe comprised of local Armenian youth trained in the art of Armenian folk dance. Their enthusiasm, beautiful costuming and flawless dance routines brought the crowd to their feet.
Guests enjoyed authentic Armenian food prepared by Gary Reizian’s Uptown Deli, interesting vendor booths and dancing under the stars — a magical trip to Armenia via the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market.
Kudos once again to the Armenia Fest 2018 Committee whom to date have presented ten successful Armenia Fests for metro Detroiters. Operating under the auspices of the Knights of Vartan, Nareg Sharvashan Lodge, committee members are Edward Bedikian, co-chair, David Terzibashian, co-chair, Ray Boujoulian, Corinne Khederian, Vaughn Masropian, Hagop Alexanian, Paul Kulhanjian, Ken Khezarjian, Shirley Sarkisian, Angela Hagopian Snow, Madeline Thomasian and Pam Coultis. Proceeds from the Fest are earmarked for Armenian humanitarian projects. Participants are doing some good while having some fun, Armenian style.