“The Greek Festival is the best and largest
cultural festival on the island,” said Symeon Michaelidies,
festival co-chairman, quoting a local magazine. With plenty
of food and a variety of Greek songs and dances, the festival
Greek culture to life.
In its 24th year, the festival will feature the Hellenic Sounds,
a band from Los Angeles that will play a variety of Greek songs
for all the Greek and international guests to enjoy.
Nisiotes (which means “islanders”), the church
dance group, will perform numerous dances under the direction
Michaelidies and Dianna Graves. Guests will be invited to join
them and to say Opa when they get up to participate.
The festival was created not only to bring the Greek culture
to life, but most importantly to raise church funds, Michaelidies
said. John Levas, a parishioner added that the festival earnings
are also used to support several community functions.
Booths will offer a variety of Greek food such us gyro and
mousaka, and desserts such as the always popular baklava, and
a thick, moist, syrup-soaked cookie covered with ground nuts.
The food is prepared by volunteers from the church and vendors
such as the Olive Tree restaurant, all of whom work hard to
make all the guests feel part of a Greek family, according
Haidemenakis, owner of Artlines, which has participated in
the Greek Festival since 1984.
Also participating is ceramics artist Ruth Ehrhorn, who has
sponsored a booth in several past festivals. Vendors assist
by contributing a portion of their profits to the church.
Sunday school children will also participate in this year’s
festival, with a booth selling lemonade and doing face painting,
said Melissa Graffigna church office manager.
The festival started in 1980 and is always held on the last
weekend of August at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Beach Park.
It is amazing how many people join us for a Greek glenti (a Greek
word for party). Eat with us and dance with us,” said
Elias Stamatiades, one of the dance group members.
Tickets for the Greek Festival can be purshased from the
church for $2, or for $3 at the McCoy Pavilion entrance.