Everyone is invited to the 18th annual Lebanese Festival, held June 3, 4, and 5 at St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church, 4730 Cove Road, N.W., Roanoke, VA. The popular festival, by now a Roanoke Valley tradition, features delicious Lebanese food including several new items this year, along with live Lebanese music and traditional Lebanese folk dancers in full costume. As it has for the past 11 years, WDBJ7 will again sponsor the festival, which will be held rain or shine. Admission and parking are free with a moderate charge for food and children’s activities. Three new vegetarian dishes and a grilled chicken pita wrap will be introduced this year, with the “Feature Dish” being a lentil and rice combination. Other menu offerings include hummus, spinach-feta pies, falafel, grilled lamb and beef kabobs, various desserts including baklawa, and back again this year is the Lebanese cheesecake. There will be takeout available throughout the day and evenings for food orders (forms on the website can be faxed to 540-562-1300). Select items in limited quantities will also be available frozen in bulk as “Frozen to Go” food to take home and enjoy at a later time. New activities this year will be “Dabke” (Lebanese line dance) instruction and Lebanese food cooking demonstrations that will take place at posted times throughout the weekend. The festival also features a Silent Auction with items from local businesses, gift baskets and restaurant gift certificates. Children will enjoy an inflated obstacle course, face painting and a cake walk among other activities. Samer Jazrawy Band, led by a parishioner who is a professional musician, will provide the toe-tapping Lebanese music that gets folks up and dancing. Tours of the church will cover the rich history of Maronite Catholicism, one of the oldest churches within Christianity and include a display of stained glass windows and icons. “A Taste of Lebanon” area will display unusual musical instruments, colorful rugs, a hookah and other ethnic items, pictures, paintings and facts about Lebanon. For more information, please visit the website: www.LebaneseFestival.StEliasChurch.org or contact St. Elias Church at 540-562-0012. We hope to see you there!