KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After a 3-year hiatus, ArabFest is returning to Knoxville and is set to be bigger and better than ever.

On Saturday, April 15 from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm the 9th Annual ArabFest will encompass Market Square in Downtown Knoxville. This event is free to the public.

WATE Six on Your Side and Arab American herself, Tala Shatara, will be hosting this event.

Festival goers will be immersed in Middle Eastern culture, music, food, art, and so much more. Vendors will be onsite to share their craft and business with the East Tennessee community. Enjoy authentic Arabic food, a fashion show, henna tattoo, belly dancing demonstrations, and even a Falafel eating contest. Winners will receive a 100 dollar gift card to Yassin’s Falafel House.

Specialty T-shirts will be onsite to purchase.

Notable members of the community will be at the festival to show their love and support for the Arab community in East Tennessee. Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and State Senator Becky Massey, will both be in attendance to deliver the opening ceremony and speeches.  

ArabFest originally took place on the University of Tennessee’s campus. The Arab American Club of Knoxville is excited to be expanding by calling downtown Knoxville’s Market Square their newest home.

The month of April also marks the 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Month and event organizers are excited to be celebrating with their “East Tennessee cousins.”

Onsite vendors will include businesses such as Yassin’s Falafel House, Naf Naf Cafe, Mirage Hookah Bar & Lounge, The Holy Land Market, and more.  

See below for the event scedule.

This event is being put on by the Arab American Club of Knoxville.

The AACK is a social, charitable, and educational organization committed to spreading awareness of Middle Eastern culture and passion in Knoxville. The AACK board is full of notable Arab American business owners, entrepreneurs, movers and shakers in the community.  

“Like most all of us who inhabit this region, we are immigrants or descendants of immigrants,” says President Suzzane Mubarak.

“We are a diverse membership that traces its evolution from the Arab World to Southern Appalachia. We comprise of Egyptian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian heritage, and more. We also are diverse in religion and seek to involve both Christian and Muslims Arabs in Knoxville,” she adds.

The Arab American Club seeks to provide a bridge of the Arab heritage to their members while advancing cultural understanding to the Knoxville community. 

For more information on the Arabic footprint in Knoxville and how to get involved, visit their website and Facebook page.