Fox TV’s Jennifer Delgado covering the Armenian fair (photo courtesy of Fox 5 D.C.)

Over 2,000 Attend Washington Armenian Food Festival: Video Report

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WASHINGTON — Over 2,000 individuals, including a significant number of non-Armenians, flocked to the Armenian Food Festival at Saint Mary Armenian Church in Washington, D.C. Among them was American reporter Jennifer Delgado from Fox TV, who conducted several live connections with her studio from the hall of events of the sanctuary. “We will worry about the diet another day,” noted the reporter, sampling the traditional baklava and other sweets. “Talking and eating is my gift,” added Delgado, while her collogues from the studio asked her to save some baklavas for them. Delgado interviewed parishioner Shoghik Missirian-Sahakyan. So did the Mirror-Spectator.

Outside the church

“This is the 15th annual Armenian Food Festival. A significant event for our community, as it introduces our food and our culture to the visitors,” remarked Shoghik.

Arts and crafts at the gift shop offered Armenian souvenirs and bottles of cognac and wine. People donate things to churches that are sold at the so-called White Elephant Corner. The Armenian bi-annual Armenian bazaars are one of the main ways to raise funds for the church, which, besides religious tasks, also had to assume cultural, educational, and other community functions.

A young volunteer

From a numerical standpoint, the Armenian community of Washington and its neighborhood is far from the extensive number of Armenian-Americans in Glendale, Fresno, or Boston. Therefore, there is only a small number of Armenian shops or restaurants in the area. “This is one of the opportunities to fill that gap and serve Armenian food and offer handmade Armenian gifts,” noted Shoghik.

Armenian drinks and sweets for sale

Two Ethiopian sisters I met at the cafeteria section noted that they came because they were intrigued by the rich Armenian culture and the historical ties between the Armenian and Ethiopian Christian churches. They also spotted similarities between the two cuisines of the two friendly nations. “We call this sambusa,” said the sisters, pointing to a flaky triangle pastry baked by the Women’s Guild.

“The festival is a vital celebration of our Armenian culture, heritage, and traditions. It offers a platform for our community to showcase our rich history through food, music, dance, and crafts,” noted Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, the pastor of St. Mary Armenian Church.

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The video segment below includes interviews with visitors and volunteers of the Armenian church.

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