Music, food, dance and even traditional herbal medicine were among the attractions Sunday afternoon at the 35th annual Taste of Armenia Festival in downtown Evanston.

The Clark Street block where St. James Armenian Church is located was blocked off between Sherman and Benson, making room for booths, tables, musicians and a few thousand visitors who were enjoying the beautiful day and sampling the kebabs, hummus, and baba ghanoush.

Gavik Anbarchian, chair of both the church and the festival, said the yearly event gives members of the Armenian community the chance to “get together and connect,” while at the same time letting others learn about Armenia and Armenian-Americans, “so that we’re not invisible.”

One of the pivotal events in Armenian history was genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

While Turkey, the primary successor state to the Empire, has denied that genocide took place, most historians and scholars

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, shares a border — and a disputed history — with Armenia. Credit: Google

Anbarchian said there are about 10 million Armenians in the world, including three million in Armenia itself, and one million in the U.S.

St. James Church, he noted, is 77 years old, and originated in the City of Chicago.

Anbarchian said the Evanston church has about 500 to 600 members.