Ottawa Lebanese Festival makes its annual return

Attended by thousands of locals and international guests each year, the Lebanese Festival was established in 1990 to celebrate the best in Lebanese entertainment, food, and culture. Due to the pandemic, the festival will celebrate its 30th year with a slight twist. Instead of a larger gathering, this year’s event features a pop up festival kitchen where people can pick-up their favourite cuisine and either take it home or sit out on an available patio and enjoy it outside.

Ray Skaff, VP Corporate Affairs & Public Relations for Gabriel’s Pizza and a long-time partner with the festival, is eager to be able to have locals come by to enjoy Lebanese cuisine once again.

“One of the things that the Ottawa community loves about the festival is our food which is literally homemade by hundreds of volunteers,” said Skaff. Guests can enjoy a variety of platters and sandwiches featuring falafel, chicken, kafta and fattoush as well as traditional sides like grape leaves, hummus, kibbee balls and salad.

“It’s great to see the Lebanese community rally together to celebrate a great event and see all the people that come out to enjoy the food and celebrate the culture, even under these circumstances,” said Skaff.

With lower cases numbers in Ottawa and the province has moving into Step 3 of the Reopening Roadmap, there is still an effort being made to make this event as safe as possible. Skaff says that the festival will be following all COVID-19 safety protocols so locals in the city can enjoy the festival.

“We are following all the protocols that are in place by the municipality. We had them in place last year and we’re going to continue to do that this year,” he said.

The Lebanese Festival will be going on from July 22-25 at the Saint Elias Centre. All event details including their menu and parking info can be found on their website.