ROYAL OAK, Mich. — The 14th Annual Armenia Fest took place on Saturday, July 23, at the Royal Oak Farmers Market which was transformed into a middle eastern bazaar for an evening. Opening ceremonies included American-Armenian anthems performed by Rubik Malian, prayers were offered by local pastors, Very Rev. Aren Jebejian and Pastor Hagop Haroutunian followed by an event ribbon cutting and welcome greeting offered by Fest Co-Chair David Terzibashian.
Two thousand attendees who traveled from across Michigan and the United States enjoyed traditional and contemporary Armenian music performed during the evening by the Armenia Fest All-Stars under the direction of Vaughn Masropian featuring the Armenian legend Hachig Kazarian. Guests were inspired by the music to join with the band to dance traditional line and solo dances. Interspersed throughout the evening were performances by the crowd favorite, the Armenian Dance Company of Chicago, who were dressed in authentic costumes and performed beautifully choreographed folk dances.
The indoor portion of the Market was filled to capacity with vendor booths featuring Armenian crafts, pottery, souvenirs, music, cookbooks, baked goods and jewelry. Authentic Armenian food including tasty kebabs, lamajoun (Armenian pizza), stuffed grape leaves, pastries and breads was prepared by popular area Armenian caterer, Gary Reizian, and enjoyed by guests.
The major sponsor of Armenia Fest is the Hagopian World of Rugs and the family of the late Edgar Hagopian who was the founding member of the Armenia Fest Committee. It was Edgar Hagopian’s vision to showcase the Armenian Culture and Food to the citizens of Michigan that is continued by the present day members of the Committee.
The Armenian community of metro Detroit numbers well over 100,000 within the tri-county regions of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The Fest Committee sponsors events and programs which focus on Armenian culture, faith and history. Each year proceeds from the festival are donated by the Committee to humanitarian Armenian causes.