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Assyrian community celebrated at annual festival
Assyrian fest1
The 2nd annual Assyrian Festival will feature everything having to do with the Assyrian people and culture. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Assyrian community has a rich history in the Central Valley and their religion, traditions and culinary delicacies will be celebrated at the 2nd annual Assyrian Festival, Aug. 27-28, at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock.

The festival will feature historical as well as religious exhibits highlighting everything having to do with the Assyrian people and culture. All residents of the Central Valley are invited to come and discover what it means to be a member of the Assyrian community and see visual examples of important religious garments and their meaning.

This year’s festival will celebrate the first immigration of Assyrians to the Turlock at the turn of the twentieth century. After the first recognized settler Isaac Adams came to the Central Valley around 1905, the Assyrian community continued to grow now accounting for around 20 percent of Turlock’s population.

“We wanted to open this festival to the community so that all of our neighbors, irrespective of ethnicity, can experience our culture, our foods and our history,” said His Grace Mar Awa Royel Bishop of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East Diocese of California.

There will also be a special ceremony of recognition on Aug. 27 for Assyrian veterans of both WWII and the Korean War. There are over 150 members of the Assyrian community, several of which residents of Turlock, who served between these two wars.

Opening at 10 a.m. both days, the festival will feature a plethora of cultural events including live music, Assyrian dance groups and even carnival rides for the kids.

Of course what festival would be complete without the inclusion of homemade Assyrian delicacies? With dishes from kabobs to baklava to everything in between, the festival’s food court will be a can't miss destination.

On the menu will be dozens of tantalizingly mouth-watering dishes made by members of the local Assyrian community, some of which have been passed down for generations.  

For more information about the festival events and times, visit: