This year’s Festival was once again sponsored by California State Assemblymember Kevin de Leon and LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, and much support was given by Assemblymember Paul Krekorian and California State Assembly member Mike Feuer. A representative of Congresswoman Diane Watson’s office, who serves California’s 33rd Congressional District, presented a certificate to the Festival Committee.
“Congratulations to the ACF for all the hard work with putting the Armenian Independence Day Festival together,” said Watson’s representative, as he read from the Congresswoman’s certificate. The large scale block party featured a variety of cultural displays, musical performances, traditional ethnic food, and various vendors. The Festival also had a kid’s play area, which included a petting zoo, pony rides, and various games and rides. The Festival Committee, in charge of organizing the event, was comprised of Armenian youth from different organizations.
“We continually put this event together because we realize the importance of celebrating our first independence and we want to bring all Armenians together, within a festive atmosphere, to celebrate this time in our people’s history.” said Marie Minassian, a member of the Festival Committee.
“The fact that it is held in Little Armenia is very symbolic to us because of the large Armenian community that resides in this part of Hollywood.” Among the various entertainers that performed this year were Harout Pamboukjian, Joseph Krikorian, Sahag Sisslian, Ara Shahbazian, Artin Bedrossian, Arno, Harout Hagopian, and Antoine, Erovaski.
The Annual Armenian Festival in Little Armenia is the largest of its kind and is organized by the Armenian Independence Day Festival Committee, under the auspices of the Armenian Cultural Foundation. The festival marks the 91st anniversary of Armenian Independence declared on May 28, 1918 following almost 600 years of Ottoman Turkish oppression.
The First Republic of Armenia established on May 28 set the foundation for today’s independent Republic of Armenia, which was one of the first former Soviet Republics to declare independence on September 21, 1991.