The sixth annual Greek Festival is set for Sept. 6-8 on the grounds of St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church, 4200 S. Holiday Ave., in Springfield.
“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.”
Church members will demonstrate 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 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 festival, to take place rain or shine, will include brief overviews of the Orthodox faith by parish priest Andrew Moore in the church sanctuary.
Manoli’s Jewelers will offer a charity raffle for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind, hand-made 14-karat yellow gold Byzantine cross embedded with precious stones.
Choose from a menu of entrees, pastries, beverages, including Greek wine and coffee, and have dinner under the tents, all to the rhythms of traditional music from the mainland and the islands.
The menu includes:
- 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
- Kataifi, shredded pastry dough, soaked through with nuts and honey
- Koulouria, buttery cookies, rolled and twisted
- Baklava Sundae, soft vanilla ice cream enhanced with this favorite Greek sweet treat
- Kafe, Greek coffee from The Coffee Ethic
- Greek beer, wine, soft drinks and other beverages
The festival benefitting the Orthodox Christian church is 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is free and credit cards will be accepted