After a two-year break due to COVID-19, one of Ottawa’s largest cultural celebrations is back.

The Ottawa Lebanese Festival at the St. Elias Centre near Mooney’s Bay has been welcoming visitors since 1990.

Organizers say the community is thrilled to be able to come together and celebrate everything Lebanese.

Ray Skaff, one of the organisers behind the festival, says this is the Lebanese communities celebration of culture, resilience and openness.

“We are excited to bring things back to normal so we have a little bit of everything. This is our five days to celebrate and share some of our philosophy and spirit for life,” Skaff said.  “We have received lots of comments and feedback, people are excited to be here and are looking forward to the entertainment.”

Along with music and dance performances on the main stage throughout the day, there is a midway and games for kids and adults alike.

Fresh Lebanese food and homemade desserts are a huge draw for the tens of thousands who pass through the festival gates annually.

This year there is a new daily 50-50 draw, with funds going to support the St Elias Church, and on the weekend organisers have added hockey skills competitions on Saturday and Sunday.

The festival runs until Sunday.