by Denise Helou
The Our Lady of Lebanon Lewisville, Texas Parish celebrated its 22nd Annual Lebanese Food Festival in October. The festival has become a staple for people everywhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area. They know that when the first weekend of October arrives, it’s time for delicious, authentic Lebanese cuisine, folkloric dance performances, live music, silent auctions, children activities and so much more.
We begin preparing for the festival as early as mid-March. The food is prepared in the parish kitchen by our parish members. At any time between March and October, you’ll find men, women, and even children helping in the kitchen! We know that “many hands make light work” and our wonderful parishioners always put their hands together to make the festival the success that it is. Our children, teenagers, and college students start practicing during their summer vacations to put on a show that leaves people inspired, excited, and wanting more. This year and for the first time in our 22-year history, the three-day entertainment showcase featured more than 70 Dabke dancers, some as young as 5 years old! Watching our next generation proudly represent our Lebanese culture is breathtaking. Each year the Lebanese Food Festival continues to grow because of the love and effort of our parishioners and support from our wonderful sponsors. From the Troops of St. George to the Parish choir who open our festival up by singing a moving, beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, to the children’s area, silent auction and cultural booths, to the ladies who knit baby clothing for expectant mothers in need at the Loretto House, to the kitchen to the outside fryers and grills, booths and servers, to the shuttle drivers, to the set up and clean-up crew and to everyone involved, we all come together for a greater cause. It truly takes a village.
Our village this year came together in a way that gave us the ability to continue our support of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We are proud to share that $10,000 of the festival proceeds were sent to St. Jude. We hope to continue supporting this wonderful organization that helps so many families and kids in need.
During the months leading up to the festival and the three days of the festival, we witnessed parishioners work with joyful hearts and persistent wills. One cannot walk on the grounds of Our Lady of Lebanon without seeing the smiles of our parishioners and feeling their warmth. The Liturgy celebrated over these three days made visitors of the parish feel at home because of the loving care and zeal of our pastor. We are a parish of commitment that truly desires to bring the love of Christ to the community. If you are ever in the DFW area the first week of October, come join us!