This is a big weekend for the Armenian Relief Society’s Lowell chapter. After a three-year Covid-driven hiatus, the Lowell Folk Festival is back, featuring an array of outdoor ethnic food booths that represent major fundraising outcomes for their sponsors.
Several Bedford women are part of the chapter’s core membership and leadership, including the president, Dr. Florence Bahtiarian, and Zarouhi Suggs, a co-chair of the festival committee.
Suggs said some 20 volunteers are scheduled to convene at a certified kitchen in Andover Friday morning to prepare the delicacies and transport them to refrigerated units in downtown Lowell.
Sales will take place Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon on Market Street near the Lowell National Historical Park visitors center. (The stage nearby will feature Datev Gevorkian of Bedford, accompanying Mal Barsamian, playing oud in performance from 3:15-4 p.m. They also will take part in a one-hour noon workshop with other musicians specializing in stringed instruments.)
Suggs said she plans to work several shifts at the festival, and all of the volunteers serving will be wearing masks. She detailed the Armenian specialties on the menu:
- Losh kebab. Suggs described this as a grilled Armenian hamburger. “They’re juicy, they’re really delicious,” she said, available as a dinner or “in a pita pocket with salad and rice pilaf.”
- Lamejun – Armenian pizza, Suggs explained. “It has meat and vegetables, it’s really tasty.”
- Spinach and cheese boreks and “of course,” stuffed grape leaves.
- Paklava, the traditional triangular dessert with phyllo dough, syrup and nuts; its variation, bourma, which features walnuts and is rolled; and kadayif, comprising shredded phyllo dough, syrup, cinnamon, and nuts.
- Armenian coffee rolls.
The Armenian Relief Society (ARS), founded in 1910, is a non-profit organization serving the social, educational, health, and welfare efforts of the Armenian people throughout the world.