Detroit Welcomes 2012 Arab and Chaldean Festival

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By Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben
PostsWebsiteBy Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 17 hrs agoShare0EmailPrintDetroit boasts one of the most eclectic people mixes of any city in the U.S. The unique blend of religions, ethnic backgrounds, and traditions makes a visit to Detroit a little trip around the world. The Detroit community features markets, bakeries, and food vendors for every taste under the sun. Some of the best venues to enjoy Detroit’s global sampling are local cultural festivals. Looking for a taste of the Middle East? Along with the many great Mediterranean restaurants in Detroit, don’t forget the Arab and Chaldean Festival. Here are details.

History

The festival, a non-profit event, is the largest Arab-Chaldean-American event in North America. Each year since 1972 it’s drawn in some 50,000 visitors. The Arab and Chaldean Festival is celebrating its 41st year in 2012.

Date and Time

The 2012 Arab and Chaldean Festival happens downtown Detroit at the Hart Plaza (at Woodward and Jefferson across from the Renaissance Center) on Saturday, July 28, and Sunday, July 29, 2012. The festival runs from noon until midnight both days.

Entertainment

The Arab and Chaldean Festival boasts features from around Detroit’s Arab community. On display in the festival’s outdoor art gallery are works from area artists. Themes include “1,000 Years of Arab Medicine” and “Arab Calligraphy.” According to last year’s press release, there will be folk dances, belly dancing, and fortune telling.

Children’s Activities

For the fourth year in a row, the festival will host a Children’s Fair. Whether your family has Arab roots or not, everyone can join in the traditional activities and games. It’s a great hands-on cultural learning experience for kids. This family event offers arts and crafts projects, games, and a play area with inflatables. The Children’s Fair is hosted by student groups and non-profit organizations. Each organization offers a different activity, giving children an afternoon of fun. The Children’s Fair will take place on Saturday only from 3p.m.-8 p.m.

Arab Fashion Show

On Sunday at 8 p.m., come enjoy a display of garments from Arab countries around the world.

Food Booths

Many locals provide foods and beverages, including Arabic coffee. Some local Arab restaurants include Harmonie Garden Cafe, Epicurus Place, Byblos, Beirut by Night, Malek Al Kabob, and Amani’s Lebanese.

On the Web

The Arab & Chaldean Festival has a Facebook page. Here are YouTube videos from past festivals. For details on the Arab community in Detroit, including festivals, events, and businesses, visit Arab American Michigan. You can listen to the website’s Arab Detroit Radio, too.

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