By David Medzorian
BOSTON — This city will host more than just fireworks and the Esplanade Pops Concert this July as Knights and Daughters of Vartan from across the country gather for this year’s Grand Convocation. The 105th Avak Tahlij and 83rd Kerakouyn Zhoghov will be hosted by Ararat Lodge No. 1, and Arpie Otyag No. 9. Members are invited, as this year’s slogan states, to “Return to Ararat,” as Ararat Lodge was the very first Knights of Vartan Tahlij, founded in 1916.
For those considering attending, there is still time to register and participate in all the activities and festivities.
This year, the Grand Convocation will last three days, from Thursday, July 6 to Saturday, July 8. However, many choose to arrive earlier in the week or extend their stay after the official events have concluded. The home for this year’s Grand Convocation will be the Westin Waltham Hotel, which is only a few miles from downtown Boston. On-site registration for attendees will begin at noon on Wednesday, July 5. Knights and Daughters will also be able to register between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday and between 8 a.m. and noon on Friday and Saturday. Those arriving early can enjoy the Fourth of July celebrations in Boston, including the fireworks over the Charles River and the Boston Pops Holiday Concert at the Esplanade on the banks of the Charles River.
Those arriving before Wednesday afternoon can also ride on one of Boston’s famous Duck-Boat Tours. Guests will enjoy a 90-minute tour of some of Boston’s best known historical and cultural sites. The vehicle will travel both on land and in the water, making for an exciting trip through the city. On Thursday, July 6, workshops and a meeting of Former Grand Commanders will occupy the daytime hours. The evening will feature the Avak Sbarabed and Avak Dirouhie Reception in the hotel’s atrium.
Friday’s agenda will begin with official sessions for both the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, followed at noon by the Daughters of Vartan Luncheon. After the afternoon meetings, members and their guests will have time to rest before the evening’s “Ararat kNight” dinner and dance.” Vocalist Elie Berberyan and his band from Montreal will keep everyone dancing throughout the evening. Following the dinner, the dance will also be open to non-members.