GLENDALE, CA – In celebration of the 23rd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, the Nor Serount Cultural Association’s annual Armenian Independence Day Festival on September 21 drew thousands of attendees to Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

Onlookers cheered for the vibrant Nor Serount dance ensembles of young children and musical guest performers delighted dancers of all ages with traditional folk dance music and patriotic songs. The joyful mood originated by the Master of Ceremonies Mrs. Ani Marselian who not only entertained the crowd but also highlighted the significance of Independence. Educational and cultural booths adorned the park featuring authentic Armenian cuisine, souvenirs, hand-woven rugs, tapestries, books and media.

Among dignitaries present for the joyous occasion were His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America who stated the importance of the independence of Armenia from Soviet rule in the 1990’s, and praised the Nor Serount Cultural Association for providing such a great event to the Armenian American community where all age groups come together to have fun, preserve their culture and maintain their bond to their ancestral homeland.

The Armenian Council of America began the program by introducing Councilmember Laura Friedman and Ara Najarian, followed by State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and LA Community College Board Trustee Scott Svonkin. Others in attendance included, Glendale City Councilmember Paula Devine, LA City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, West Hollywood Councilmember Jeffrey Prang, Glendale Unified School District Board Member Dr. Armina Gharpetian, former Assemblymember Anthoni Portantino and representatives from the office of Congressman Adam Schiff, Assemblyman Mike Gatto and County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

All of the elected officials praised the Armenian-American community for their efforts in continuing to persevere as nation of survivors and fighters for justice, as they presented beautiful proclamations commemorating the grand event.

“For the past 16 years we have been bringing this festival to the Armeinan-American community, drawing large groups of people from all over Southern California, said Armenian Independence Day Festival organizer Mr. Mehran Khatchadorian. “Our festival brings together young and old generations of Armenians as well as non-Armenians. Our goal is to not only promote the Armenian culture and identity for future generations of Armenians, but to also educate our non-Armenian neighbors and friends. We look forward to continuing this great endeavor for many decades to come.”

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