LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The Las Vegas Armenian-American community and local government representatives gathered at the Clark County Library Theater on Sunday, September 24th to celebrate Armenia’s independence. The evening, with over 400 in attendance, highlighted both the history and culture of the Armenian nation, as well as the strength and unity of Armenians in the diaspora.
Hosted by Joseph Djavairian and Grisha Sandalyan, the celebration commenced with a colorful procession by the Las Vegas “Artsakh” Homenetmen Scouts with national anthems sang by Naree Asherian. Very Reverend Father Sassoon Zumrookhdian of the Western Diocese, Very Reverend Father Torkom Donoyan of the Western Prelacy, and Pastor Sam Agulain of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Las Vegas blessed the celebration with a prayer and remarks encouraging the community to be active both in the diaspora as well as the Armenian homeland. Also present were representatives of the Nevada Consular Corps.
The cultural program included violin and piano performances by Elizabeth Bedrosian and Levon Aghadjanian. The Saint Geragos Church Seta Tajirian Saturday School Students and ARS “Shoushi” Chapter Verjine Koujakian Saturday School students sang cultural songs and recited poems demonstrating the strength and determination of the Armenian youth. 60 dancers of both the Armenian Dance School of Las Vegas and the Armenian Dance Academy of Las Vegas highlighted the nationalistic dances celebrated through generations of war, genocide, and overcoming such hardships. Directors of both dance groups, Izabel Martirosyan and Gohar Markarian, were presented with Certificates of Gratitude presented by Danny Tarkanian and Sarkis Kotanjian, on behalf of Hranoush Hakobyan, Republic of Armenia Minister of Diaspora.
Special guests included Grisha Asatryan, grandson of famous Armenian singer Aram Asatryan, who brought the crowd to a cheerful stand, and professional rhythmic gymnast Silvia Hayrapetyan, and ballroom dance of Jolene Yeghiayan. The evening concluded with closing remarks by Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas, Andy Armenian who emphasized the continuous growth of the Armenian community in Las Vegas and each audience member’s civic duty both in Nevada and Armenia-Artsakh.