The 79th Annual Lebanese Festival kicked off Sunday afternoon at Oglebay. Plenty of traditional food, dancing and culture were to be enjoyed by all.
The Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Wheeling hosts the event every year as a way to share their culture and fund raise for the church.
WTRF.com was told the tradition started in 1933 after the church was destroyed by fire. The original festival was to raise enough money to rebuild the church. Msgr. Bakhos Chidiac says the festival is a great way to share Lebanese culture with everyone in Wheeling.
"We brought some of the main traditions from Lebanon; from overseas; our ancestors did. Like the Lebanese dancing. We brought one troupe from Cincinnati to show the dancing. We have the Lebanese food, the music, the ambience, and here it's family oriented."
Fair food like funnel cakes and fries were added this year in addition to traditional Lebanese cuisine.
The annual Mahrajan, Lebanese Heritage Festival will be held Sunday, August 12 at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.
The festival opens at 10:30 a.m. and is being put on by the Our Lady of Lebanon Church located at 2216 Eoff Street in Wheeling. This year the Mahrajan offers continuous entertainment for those in attendance. The festival celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. It has been an Ohio Valley tradition since August 1933.
According to a news release the Mahrajan is the largest fundraiser for West Virginia's only Maronite Catholic Church.
The church reports this year visitors will also find vendors with offerings, such as genuine Middle Eastern musical instruments as part of the festivities. Adult games, games for children and inflatable activities will also be offered.
Live entertainment begins at 1 p.m. and will run continuously. The event is open to the public and admission is free. Tickets for food, beverages, games and activities must be purchased at the festival.
For more information call 304-233-1688.