GLENDALE, CA – Armenian Americans throughout Southern California celebrated the 24th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia at the Armenian Independence Day Festival on September 20th at Verdugo Park in Glendale. The annual event, spearheaded by the Nor Serount (New Generation) Cultural Association, along with; the Gaidz Youth Organization, the “Homenmen” Armenian Athletic Association, and the Armenian Council of America, drew thousands of attendees who bared the triple digit temperature to partake in the festivities.
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, Mr. Stepan Hovagimian who not only entertained the crowd but also highlighted the significance of Armenia’s Independence to Armenians worldwide. Educational and cultural booths adorned the park featuring authentic Armenian cuisine, souvenirs, hand-woven rugs, tapestries, books and media.
Mr. Harut DerTavitian, Chairman of the Nor Serount Cultural Association, addressed the audience and stressed the importance and considerable work the organizations take in organizing a free event such as the Armenian Independence Day Festival. Mr. DerTavitian highlighted the volunteers and tremendous effort put in by the organizations to not only underscore the pride Armenians have towards their homeland’s independence, but to also accentuate the historic Armenian culture and heritage in order to foster stronger bonds for generations to come.
Among dignitaries present for the joyous occasion were Glendale City Mayor Ara Najarian along with Glendale City Councilmembers Paula Devine and Vartan Gharpetian, Glendale Unified School District Board Members Dr. Armina Gharpetian and Nayiri Nahabedian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian, former Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and representing the office of Congressman Adam Schiff, Mary Hovagimian.