You’ll hear a lot of that all-purpose “be-happy” exclamation of delight at the sixth annual Greek Festival to be held Friday-Sunday, Sept. 6-8, 2013, on the grounds of St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church. The festival, which benefits the Orthodox Christian church located at 4200 S. Holiday Ave. in southwest Springfield, will be open on Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 3 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.
Parking is free and credit cards will be accepted for purchases.
“We are very happy to share our Greek culture with our neighbors and friends,” said Manoli Savennas, a native of Rhodes, Greece, who, with his wife, Valerie, are charter sponsors of the Festival. “We hope everyone has as much fun as we have.”
Choose from a menu of entrees, pastries, beverages, including Greek wine and coffee, and have dinner under the tents, all to the often mesmerizing rhythms of traditional music from the mainland and the islands.
All weekend, church members will demonstrate the native dances of Greece, including the sirto, hasapiko, kalamatiano and hasaposerviko. Children wearing traditional Greek costumes will perform the yiatros and karagouna. In the evenings, Maria Savennas will lead the dancers in an original candle dance.
Inflatables will be available for the children and souvenirs and memorabilia from Greece will be for sale in the agora (marketplace). Items include pottery, Byzantine crosses and icons, olive oil soap and lotions, magnets, jewelry, bags, CDs and cookbooks.
The three-day festival, to be held rain or shine, will also include brief overviews of the Orthodox faith by parish priest Andrew Moore and tours of the church sanctuary.
Manoli’s Jewelers will again sponsor the charity raffle, this time for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind, hand-made 14-karat yellow gold Byzantine cross embedded with precious stones.
Sharpen your taste buds! Menu entrees include:
- Traditional and chicken souvlaki, Grecian herbed, grilled and skewered with pita bread
- Gyros, grilled meat wrapped in toasted pita bread and topped with the traditional tzatziki, a cucumber sauce
- Spanakopita, savory spinach and cheese pie
- Tiropita, buttery cheese pie
- Dolmathes, stuffed grape leaves
- Baklava, crisp filo pastry layered with nuts and spices and drenched in honey that is also served as a sundae with vanilla ice cream
- Kataifi, shredded pastry dough, soaked through with nuts and honey
- Koulouria, buttery cookies, rolled and twisted
- Kafe, Greek coffee from The Coffee Ethic
- Greek beer, wine, soft drinks and other beverages
Here are directions to the church: West on Republic Road from Kansas Expressway past Scenic Avenue, left on Glenn Avenue, left on Lark Street and it’s one short block to St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church.