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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Festival of Nations Planned October 26 in Watervliet

Watervliet, NY – A celebration of cultures and art will take place on October 26 during the Festival of Nations event held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in downtown Albany, NY.

“With such division taking place around the world today, it is nice to have our community here in Upstate New York unify to appreciate one another’s culture,” shared Rafi Topalian, President of the Capital District Armenian Cultural Organization.

Nations participating in this 43rd annual Festival of Nations include: Argentia, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Dominican Republic, Ethipoia, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine.

The day will begin at 12 noon with a parade of the 27 nations represented.  In addition to a stage full of native dances and music, the convention hall will be sprinkled with unique crafts and delicious ethnic foods to savor.

The highlight of the day will be the crowning of the Miss Festival of Nations.  St. Peter Armenian Church’s own Renee Dearstyne will represent as Miss Armenia.  Renee, daughter of Rebecca & Michael Dearstyne and granddaughter of Victor Khachikian, is a multi-talented 14-year-old prepared to take on the task of proudly representing the Armenian community in the Capital District.

“We have always been fortunate to have beautiful and intelligent young ladies participate as Miss Armenia, and this year we are very pleased to have the talented and poised Renee Dearstyne as our representative,” expressed Topalian.

Renee, a freshman, is enrolled in the Schalmont High School honors curriculum and is also a member of the National Junior Honors Society.  She has studied the piano for eight years, and is part of the Capital District Youth Choral.  Other interests include volutneering at the Schenectady City Mission store, competivie dance and cheerleading, and participation in several school clubs as well as a member of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA) and a St. Peter Sunday School student.

(Renee Dearstyne, 14, of St. Peter Armenian Church in Watervliet, NY, will represent the Upstate New York Armenian community as Miss Armenia during the 43rd annual Festival of Nations.)

Plan to attend and support Renee in her bid for Miss Festival of Nations while taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of a wonderful afternoon appreciating the cultural diversity of the Upstate New York community.

General admission is $5 for adult and $2 for children ages 3-12.  For further information about the Festival of Nations, please call 518-371-3737 or visit www.festival of, or contact Rafi Topalian directly at 518-272-2000 or email

“I strongly encourage you to take the time to attend and enjoy an afternoon of delicious international foods and wonderful cultural entertainment,” concluded Topalian.


Blogger Eli Joseph said...

I usually don’t like to attend any event but love to watch festival New York events because these types of events are usually based on cultures and their art. Even I liked your article too.

December 31, 2014 at 11:56 PM 

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