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Orange County

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Orange County, California, adjacent to southern Los Angeles County is home to a large, but fairly spread out Armenian community.



Armenian Festival of Orange County

The Armenian Festival of Orange County PO Box 3136 Laguna Hills, CA 92654-3136


Contact: Tom Kalajian (949) 309-2900 Ext 17 | (888) HYE-FEST (493-3378)

Contact: Paul Aslanian (949) 309-2900 Ext 11 | (888) HYE-FEST (493-3378)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Armenian Festival Organizers Introduce Armenian Food to 15,000 at Laguna Hills, CA Annual July 4th City Celebration

Laguna Hills, CA (July 4, 2008) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled corn on the cob and pizza -- all traditional fare at July 4th celebrations across the nation. Great live rock music, spectacular fireworks, great weather and plenty of spacious lawns to relax; who could ask for more? But wait! What about shish kebab, pilaf and hummus? For the first time in the history of the City, Armenian Festival of Orange County (AFOC) executive committee volunteers introduced Armenian shish kebab and all the fix'ns to a crowd estimated at upwards of 15,000 at the annual July 4th celebration sponsored by the City of Laguna Hills, at the Laguna Hills Community Center.

Laguna Hills, an upscale city in Southern California's affluent Orange County, has been a leader in multi-cultural venues, and the home of the annual Armenian Festival of Orange County since its founding in 2005.

Armenian Festival organizers volunteering for the day included Executive Director Paul Aslanian, and committee members Krikor Mahdessian, Greg Sermabeikian, Annette Sermabeikian, Rosemary Saatjian, Lydia Tutunjian, Karmen Garakian, Tom Kalajian and Alishan Halebian.

Originally conceived by Executive Director Paul Aslanian and a few friends in 2005, the Armenian Festival of Orange County has grown each year, and is now in its fourth year. The festival is being held this year on the weekend of September 13 and 14, at the same location, the Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA. Admission is trivial for guests 12 and over, while children under 12 are free. New this year will be two live Armenian bands. Returning from last year will be the Knar Band, known for its popular Armenian music accompanying multiple popular singers again this year, and, new this year, on Sunday afternoon, the John Bilezikjian Band will play exclusively authentic Armenian dance music, from all regions of historic Armenia, for the enjoyment of guests who prefer traditional Armenian folk dancing.

As another bonus, returning from 2006 will be George Pchakjian, with his lively party music who will serve as the party master and DJ to keep the pace exciting and fun for all. In addition, the entertainment will feature popular dance groups in colorful costumes performing throughout the festival to showcase both the dances and culture of the Armenian people.

As always, the food will again be both spectacular and delicious, prepared to exacting standards of professional authentic food experts, and, again, served in ample portions at reasonable prices, so the whole family can enjoy a full day's outing and entertainment.

Festival organizers have planned to offer a unique shopping experience with vendors offering gifts and mementos at unique booths, as well as local business enterprises showcasing their offerings for guests. Also returning this year are the kids zone with bounce houses, cotton candy. The festival is known for its covered seating for over 500 guests, so all can enjoy the fine food and entertainment in the comfort of shade and bussed tables.

Again this year, sponsors are eager to provide their support for this truly all-inclusive Armenian event, as the pan-Armenian nature of the festival encourages all Armenians to gather and celebrate their rich heritage and culture. The Armenian Festival, Inc. a non-denominational, non-political, all-inclusive, qualified tax-exempt organization is administered exclusively by non-affiliated independent unpaid Armenian volunteers.

The festival's Mission Statement and Statement of Core Values are posted on its web site, as are letters of appreciation from organizations which the festival sponsored in prior years. Congratulatory letters from dignitaries and the festival's colorful flyer, applications for booth reservations, volunteers or information for sponsors, a photo gallery of prior festivals, and much more information is available by visiting the Festival's web site at or by telephoning the 24-hour information hotline at either (949) 309-2900 or toll-free at (888) HYE-FEST (493-3378).


61 Expert pilaf chef Zovig Bartoumian of Laguna Hills, CA proudly displays her talent at the Laguna Hills, CA July 4th City-sponsored celebration. 01 Freshly baked baklava awaits thousands who attended the July 4th event at Laguna Hills, CA celebration, graciously provided by Armenian Festival sponsor Sarkis Pastry of Anaheim, CA. 41 Armenian Festival Executive Committee members Lydia Tutunjian and Karmen Garakian make final preparations for the crowd estimated at upwards of 15,000 at the Laguna Hills, CA July 4th celebration. A full Armenian plate, including baklava was presented for the first time at the City's annual event. 48 Armenian Festival Committee Members proudly display Armenian shish kebab and baklava awaiting the expectant crowd for the July 4th festivities.


Orange County, OC Weekly, CA April 21 2012

Commemoration of Armenian Genocide to Happen Tomorrow in Santa Ana with Film Screening

By Gustavo Arellano Sat., Apr. 21 2012 at 8:20 AM

While the Armenian community in Glendale gets all the attention in Southern California, a small but vibrant one has existed in Orange County for decades, centered around Irvine and Fountain Valley, with its focal point 40 Martyr's Armenian Apostolic Church in SanTana (quick aside: I once crashed a quinceañera held at their Gugasian Hall years ago, fleeing an angry dad after I schtupped his comely daughter--good times!). It's a time of mourning for Armenians worldwide, as its the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and the OC chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America will commemorate the genocide tomorrow with a ceremony and a film screening.

The film in question is Bolis, which per the PR flackage is "a film that tells the story of a successful musician journey to Istanbul for the first time. Armenak, the musician, eventually searches for his grandfather's old musical instrument shop in an attempt to discover his past in relation to his present self." There will also be short presentations by most of the Armenian organizations in Orange County. This is a great show of Armenian solidarity in a county that's an epicenter for the Armenian genocide-denial movement in the United States, so best of luck to them.

The event will start TOMORROW at 4 p.m., at 40 Martyr's, 5315 W. McFadden Ave, SanTana, or you can find out more information at ANCA-OC's Facebook page. See you there!

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Forty Martyrs Church
St. Mary Church
  • Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church (Santa Ana)
  • St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church (Costa Mesa)


Bayfront Cafe & Restaurant

Mediterranuean Cuisine
3412 Via Oporto #103, Newport Beach, CA 92663 Tel: (949) 675-3779

Owned and run by Sako, this place offers excellent Bolsa-Hay food on the waterfront.

Rosine's Mediterranean Cuisine

721 S Weir Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92808-1930 · 714-283-5141

Lebanese-Armenian food.

Zankou Chicken

2424 W. Ball Rd. #S & T, Anaheim, CA 92804 (714) 229.2060

Part of the famous Zankou Chicken chain.

Zov's Bistro

17440 E. 17th St. Tustin, CA 92780 714-838-8855

Armenian-American fusion, healthy, high end restaurant, run by Zov Karamardian.

See also

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