The Comeback of Greek Festivals in the US

Greek festivals
Greek festivals are popping up all over the world now that the pandemic has eased. Here is a listing of some of them for those who have to get their Greek fix this Summer and Fall. Credit: Wikimedia commons/Public Domain

After a year spent social distancing, how wonderful it is to see that a number of Greek festivals are taking place once again all over the United States and the world. Here are a few for those who want to get back into the swing of things by visiting a great festival for food and fun in North America.

Chicago’s Taste of Greektown

This perennial favorite on the Windy City’s Summer calendar will have a triumphant return this year as it ramps up for its 31st annual celebration of Hellenic cuisine and culture.

The Taste of Greektown will take place 4-10 p.m. Friday and noon-10 p.m. on August 28-29, on Halsted Street between Adams and Van Buren streets in Chicago.

As always, the festival will feature authentic food from Greektown restaurants and bars, along with live music, Greek dancing, family activities, shopping and more.

More details on participating businesses and the lineups for the live entertainment will be announced in the  coming months. Be sure to keep tabs on this event by checking its website, here. 

The festival will be presented by the Greektown Chamber of Commerce with support from Greektown Special Service Area 16. A $5 donation will be suggested to those who attend.

Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood has been the epicenter of the city’s acclaimed Greek dining scene for decades, located along Halsted Street for 60 years. The neighborhood still has the largest concentration of Greek restaurants in Chicago as well as many new establishments, and remains anchored by its celebration of heritage, community and history.

Many restaurants and retail stores in Greektown are family-owned businesses that have been open for decades.

Greektown Chicago
Credit: Facebook/Greektown Chicago

Columbus Greek Festival, Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Greek Festival Organizers of this community staple were very excited to announce the return of our Annual Greek Festival Labor Day Weekend!

Planning (and cooking!) is underway for the 48th Annual Event and we will have more to announce in the coming weeks, but all those interested are asked to save the dates of Sept. 3rd – 6th for the much-anticipated return of the Festival!

Can we get an OPA????

Durham Greek Festival, Durham, North Carolina

Durham Greek Festival, Durham, North Carolina — St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church

Church Address: 8306 NC Highway 751 Durham, NC 27713-6860 USA Tel: (919) 484-1600

Dates and Times:

Sat: 10/9/2021 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sun: 10/10/2021 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Experience the flavors, sounds, and traditions of Greece at Greek Festival 2021 in Durham, NC. Enjoy delicious Greek food and pastries, a Greek Taverna and Cafe, traditional music, folk dance performances, shopping, video travelogues of Greece, church tours, and kids’ activities.

This festival is famous for its fabulous Greek food, pastries, baklava sundaes and loukoumades. There will also be a full selection of Greek wines and beer. Vendors will include a Greek grocery, award-winning olive oils, artwork, ceramics, hand-made jewelry, crafts, novelties, silent auction, raffle, and church tours.

Come for the food and stay for the fun! The event will be held rain or shine.

As the organizers of this major North Carolina event say, “Come experience the kefi (joy) of this annual event that draws thousands in the Triangle area. Admission is FREE and there will be fun for all ages, RAIN OR SHINE! Celebrate food, wine, and life with the Greeks. Enjoy our legendary hospitality. Dance to our lively bouzouki music, shouting ‘Opa!’”

A portion of the festival proceeds benefits the Durham Rescue Mission.

Entertainment: Live music by “Opa!”; DJ Vasili; folk dance performances. Bring your dancing feet… a Kids Zone, with fun for all ages, will also be part of the offerings.

Charleston Greek Festival
Dancers whirling through their steps at the Charleston Greek Festival. Credit: Facebook/Charleston Greek Festival

44th Annual Greek Festival, St. Demetrios Church, Roseland New Jersey

Saints Nicholas, Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Church Address: 80 Laurel Avenue Roseland, NJ 07068 USA Tel: (973) 251-2920

Dates and Times: Fri: 9/24/2021 Noon – Midnight; Sat: 9/25/2021 Noon – Midnight; Sun: 9/26/2021 Noon – 7:00 PM

Organizers of this perennial favorite festival invite the public to “Join us for the 44th Annual Greek Festival in St. Demetrios of Union! Be Greek for a weekend and you’ll love it!

“Authentic Greek food prepared on premises, including mouthwatering Souvlaki, Gyro, Pastry Shop and a full selection of Beer/Liquor/Wine/Ouzo will also be there!
There will be Live Music with Fantasia Music and DJ Entertainment, along with Folk Dancing, craft vendors, rides and games. There is Free Parking and Admission is only $2

“We look forward to having you!”

FOOD, FUN, & OPA! at the Lincoln Park Greek Fest in Chicago

St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 N. Sheffield Avenue in Chicago.

$10 Suggested Donation and there will be a Craft Fair All Weekend!

The Lincoln Park Greek Fest brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep.

Friday, Sept 10 from 5pm to 11pm; Saturday, Sept 11 from Noon to 11pm; and Sunday, Sept 12 from Noon to 10 pm.

This Chicago institution’s organizers say “Being Greek means relishing the world around you and enjoying life to its fullest.

“Come experience the Ancient Greek concept of “filoxenia” and the famous hospitality of the Greek culture. The Lincoln Park Greek Fest gives us the opportunity to open our arms, our hearts and our kitchens as we share our culture with you!

“This popular annual cultural celebration on the grounds of St. George Greek Orthodox Church will serve up authentic flavorful food, great music, dancing and pure fun.

“St. George Greek Orthodox Church and the Lincoln Park Greek Community are proud to host the Lincoln Park Greek Fest. You too can be Greek for a day at the Lincoln Park Greek Fest!

“Whether one is Greek or not, this fest promises that everyone will be proudly Hellenic for at least a day.

“So. . . Come on! Elate! Be Greek for a day. Come to the Lincoln Park Greek Fest and see what we’re all about! It no longer has to be ‘All Greek’ to you! Opa!”

50th Annual Charleston Greek Festival

The 50th annual Charleston Greek Festival will take place at 30 Race Street
Charleston South Carolina from October 8-10. The organizers welcome everyone to the 2021 event with the slogan “Become Greek for the weekend!”

Charleston Greek Festival Dates and Times:

Date: Oct. 8 – 10, 2021 from 5 pm – 10 pm; Saturday Oct 9 – 11 am – 10 pm; Sunday Oct 10 – 12 pm – 6 pm.

Admission: General Admission $5; Seniors and Students $3; Children 12 and under may attend for Free.

The Charleston Greek Festival is a celebration of fun and Greek culture! Attendees can enjoy Greek food, wine, live music, and dancing. The oldest festival in the Charleston area, dating back to 1970, the Charleston Greek Festival is the third largest festival in the low country.

There will be taverna dining with pastries, an outdoor grill, and a full complement of beer and wine.

New Orleans Greek Festival

Join in the fun on Bayou St. John for the 2021 New Orleans Greek Festival. This year’s theme is “EAT! DRINK! DANCE!” As always, there will be homemade traditional Greek Food, wine, pastries, and other great desserts. Come see the live, traditional Greek dancing and listen to the live Greek band playing near the Bayou.

Tour the beautiful Cathedral, browse the wonderful marketplaces with everything Greek, and visit the Greek grocery with delectable cheeses, dips, spices, and much more – OPA!

The organizers of this event down on the bayou say “In 1973, when the first New Orleans Greek Festival was held, who could have known it would grow to be one of the best local’s festival in New Orleans, hosting over 23,000 annually!”

Tentative Dates for the 2021 event are: Friday, November 5th from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday, November 6th from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm; and Sunday, November 7 from 11 AM- 6 PM.

The Events Schedule at a glance, including a Friday Evening Run/Walk Race: 6:00pm — Registration & Packets; 7:00pm — 1 Mile Start; 7:30pm — 5K Start

Hellenic Dancers, Inside Stage will appear at the following times:
Friday — 6:00 pm & 9:00pm
Saturday — 1:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 8:00 pm
Sunday — 1:30 pm

Hellenic Dancers, Outdoors will perform
Friday — 6:30 pm
Saturday — 5:00 pm
Little Dancers, Inside Stage
Sunday — 4:00 pm

Cathedral Tours, beginning at the Cathedral side entrance
Friday — 7:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Saturday — Noon; 2:00 pm; 3:30 pm; 5:30 pm; 7:30 pm
Sunday — Noon; 5:00 pm

And don’t forget — Toga Sunday!
Wear a Tasteful Toga on Sunday and get in Free!

2021 Greek Food and Music Festival, Somerville, Massachusetts

The festival, centered around the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, Somerville, Massachusetts, will offer live Greek music and dancing every night, along with what the organizers say is “The tastiest Greek food this side of the Atlantic.” The event will be held rain or shine.

Friday Sept. 10, 2021, from noon- 11 PM; Saturday Sept. 11, noon — 1 pm; Sunday Sept. 12, noon- 9 pm. For more info please see the church website, here. 

Greek Festivals Postponed this Year

The San Jose, California Greek fest has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Please check out its website, here, for updates on when it will take place again.

Organizers of one of the US’ major Greek festivals, the LA Greek Fest, decided to postpone the festivities until a later date. They are awaiting further rulings by the local health authorities as to when they might be able to reschedule. Check their website for updates on when another edition of this great event will take place.


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