Arab Texas Festival is back, with folkloric and contemporary art and music, comedy, dabke troupes and a whole lotta food.EXPAND
Arab Texas Festival is back, with folkloric and contemporary art and music, comedy, dabke troupes and a whole lotta food.
courtesy Arab Texas Festival

Arab Texas Festival Returns to Mesquite With Culture, Comedy and a Ton of Food

The second annual Arab Texas Festival returns to Mesquite on Sept. 2, offering food, performers and activities aimed at spotlighting Arabic culture. And it comes with a tempting array of food, including shawarma, falafel, meat and cheese pies, and Arabian-flavored desserts.

The festival is the brainchild of the Richardson-based Arab American Cultural Society, co-founded by Alaa Shalabi and Massoud Khayyat.

The event is designed to “include all type of entertainment, plus showcasing our local food vendors, while allowing the community to learn more about the Arab Culture and to address misconceptions and stereotypes that are still prevalent in today’s society,” says Alex Khafaji, who does marketing for AACS.

Last year the event drew 7,500 people from the region and surrounding states. This year, AACS hopes to have more than 10,000 from across the U.S. and other countries.

While it aims to be an informative and fun event, the festival also serves a greater purpose.

“Our Organization consists of countless volunteers and some prominent Arab business leaders who help to put together our annual festival, plus numerous community service projects, such as a TangoTab event, which help feed hundreds of homeless people in the metroplex,” Khafaji says. “We also took part in a North Texas Food Bank volunteer action day, which allowed our team to organize and pack hundreds of boxes for the community and raise awareness to donating items to the North Texas Food Bank.”

Eat shawarma, ride paddle boats — everybody wins.
Eat shawarma, ride paddle boats — everybody wins.
courtesy Arab Texas Festival

AACS also provides mentoring services to local refugees.

The Sunday event is geared toward anyone who wants to learn more about Arabic culture and try some good food. And it truly is a festival — with carnival rides, paddle boats, a petting zoo, pony rides and indoor cultural exhibits.

“We hope to extend an invitation to our entire community, regardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation or disability, to enjoy a fun, festive day with lots of quality entertainers, professional dabke dancing, fashion show, plus enjoy many ethnic food and drinks from nearly a dozen local vendors,” Khafaji says.

Arabic coffee and tea will be available, along with hookahs with many flavors. Vendors will be selling a variety of halal foods, from mashawi to shawarma, falafel and kenafe.

“Like we said at our last festival," Khafaji says, “you will be able to experience the Middle East right here in your own backyard on Labor Day weekend without having to experience the travel expenses.”

Tickets are $30, which includes admission to all kids activities, music entertainment, free parking and boat rides. (Food and drinks are not included.) Children younger than 6 enter for free.

Arab Texas Festival, 1 p.m.-midnight Sept. 2 at Double D Ranch, 12809 Eastgate Dr., Mesquite

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: