The parking lot just south of Fourth and Northampton Streets was missing some much-needed cheer and celebration last year.
Fortunately, that cheer is coming back this year — with plenty of tabouli to go along with it.
After missing out on Lebanese Heritage Days for the first time in 43 years last year due to COVID-19, the community of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church is elated to be back celebrating the rich history and culture of the Lebanese in Easton. The popular two-day festival is scheduled for 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
In addition to the tabouli, there’s plenty more food and fun with which to celebrate this year. Hummus, shish kabobs, chicken with garlic sauce and plenty more Lebanese fare will be available at the colorful tents in the church parking lot. As usual, there will be children’s traditional dance troupes both evenings and Mass celebrated inside the church before both days kick off.
Due to the pandemic, last year was the first without a festival since its inception in 1978 — no dancing, no shish kabob, no Sunday morning Mass. After vaccinations began rolling out and cases decreased, the church made the decision around Memorial Day to hold the festival this year, according to a spokesperson for the festival.
Now, cases are back on the rise due to the Delta variant, and especially so in Northampton County. However, the festival is following the latest protocols and guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — currently, the protocols require unvaccinated people to wear a mask. Those who are vaccinated can forgo one. Any change to those guidelines will be in order for Heritage Days.
For added safety, the festival will have numerous hand-sanitizing stations, as were present pre-pandemic. It also has an upcoming inspection to make sure the food service will meet all safety regulations.
It’s been a long time, too long, since the last Heritage Days, and the festival wants to make sure everything will be done right and a good time will be had by all.
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Connor Lagore may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.