About 10,000 people were expected to come through the festival on Saturday and Sunday, Poladian said.
The program for the festival includes everything from student dance performances to costume shows to a staging of a traditional Armenian wedding.
“It’s really a nice production,” Poladian said.
The festival opened on Saturday afternoon with a blessing by Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America. His blessing was followed by performances from students at Menuet Dance School.
Before the official opening, visitors strolled the booths and food buffets that filled two floors of the civic auditorium.
On the lower level, rugs, jewelry, sculptures and paintings were for sale, and kebab sandwiches, cheese boureg and baklava were some of the dishes being served.
Vahak Abcarians, a member of the Armenian Philatelic Assn., was there with a stamp collection that had stamps dating back to 1918.
The stamps helped tell the history of Armenia, he said.
The owners of a photography studio called Touch of Art had set up two backgrounds depicting traditional Armenian where people could be photographed in period clothing.
One background was an outdoor scene in which bread was being rolled and baked over a fire. The other was an indoor scene that featured a patterned rug being woven.
“We create a background that represents Armenian culture,” said Maral Keledjian, one of the owners of the studio.
Sometimes, three generations of a family will pose for the photos, Keledjian said.
For Maral Leon, the event was about bring the Armenian community together to appreciate its culture.
“And my kids, I want them to know about our culture,” she said.
The event typically closes with Armenian Relief Society volunteers who organize the event pouring onto the dance floor to do Armenian folk dances together, Poladian said. The closing of the event is accompanied by a sense of relief as well as sadness that it’s over, she said.
“It’s touching, and it’s really nice,” Poladian said.