By: Clifford Smith | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2011
The Tabouleh Bar serves up traditional tabouleh and unique dessert tabouleh to festival attendees.
Nearly 10,000 people are expected Saturday, May 14, 2011 when Bristow spotlights tabouleh, a popular Lebanese dish, as well as the community's rich Lebanese heritage during the 7th annual Tabouleh Fest. The celebration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday on Main Street as soon as runners have cleared the street following the starting gun for the 24th running of the Bristow Wildflower Run, one of the premier 5k runs in the state.
Miss Tabouleh Fest will reign over the event and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The pageant is open to girls 9th grade through high school seniors. Little Miss Tabouleh Fest will also reign. That pageant is open to girls of all ages through 8th grade.
The city's Lebanese heritage began in the early 1900s, before statehood. Lebanese peddler Joe Abraham settled in Bristow and set up a variety of businesses. As the businesses became successful, he invited his Lebanese family to join him in Oklahoma. He was responsible for a lot of the Main Street businesses. Many of those families he invited to come to Bristow have been successful in business here, too. The Lebanese had such a major influence on the area; they were industrious and very entrepreneurial, especially in food businesses and restaurants.
Two tabouleh factories, Bishop Brothers Taboli and Slyman's Lebanese Foods (Gourmet Touch Tabouly Salad) operate in Bristow and ship their dry Lebanese tabouleh to grocers all over the United States. Tabouleh salad is a combination of bulgur wheat, chopped tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, olive oil and lemon juice.
For a taste of tabouleh, visitors can visit the Tabouleh Bar. For $4, visitors have their choice of a bowl of traditional tabouleh or a unique dessert tabouleh. There will also be prepared tabouleh and packages of dry tabouleh for visitors to take home.
Other activities include a block-long area of rides and games for children all day Saturday that includes the largest inflatable slide in the United States, nearly 100 booths of arts and crafts, and barbecue and other food vendors. The Karaoke Stage will include a Bristow Idol Contest at 1 p.m. with a $100 first prize, $75 second prize and $50 third prize. The entertainment stage will feature live music and dancing throughout the day. Belly dancers in full costume will roam Main Street entertaining the crowds.
This year’s Tabouleh Fest takes place Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Bristow. Admission is free. For more information, call (918) 367-3324.