Monday, November 14, 2005

The Lebanese Fun Festival in Ottawa

It should be renamed the Arguily Fun Festival. Takes place during St. Elias feast in mid July every year, from Wednesday to Sunday. Over 40,000 unique visitors attend. Ride for kids, music, entertainment, food, raffle, lebanese traditions and crafts, pastry and coffee, and most importantly the Arguily tent (aka Beirut Nights). I have been organizing this tent for the past 8 years. The arguily tent is by far the bussiest tent in the festival. It spans 200' by 80'. Every year it gets busier and better. We serve in total about 500 arguilys, 20 250g of Flavoured Tobacco, and 2000 litres of water. We sell about 70. The rest we re-use the next festival. All proceeds of the festival are used to fund the mortgage of St. Elias Cathedral.

Every night we have a different musical program. Singers and entertainers are either local or come from Montreal and Toronto. Some of the singers who sang in the tent are Andre Ibrahim, Chadi Naddaf, Adel Kassab, Dunia el Deek, Mireille Nohra, Tabarek, Charbel Akiki, Pierre Nasa, Thaer Melko, Wissam Amar, and many more. Musicians such as Rabih Yazbek, Joe Nashef, Joe Ibrahim have also performed in the tent.

If you make a stop in Ottawa, Canada in mid-july, try to check it out. It is all over the newspaper at that time. Come in and enjoy the food and make sure you come into the Arguily tent and let one of our volunteers serve you an Arguily with Lebanese coffee, and maybe play backgammon with your friend.

Next year will be sponsoring the Arguily tent and provide all needed support to make it even a better smoking experience.