Once again, the Greeks showed us what a festival is supposed to be about. In its 46th year, the Merrillville Greek Fest has everything a festival goer could ask for. From delicious food such as roasted lamb to family friendly rides and games, the festival truly is one to remember. Whether you are eight or eighty, the church has focused on making the event family oriented and this Northwest Indiana tradition has something for you!
Held at St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 8000 Madison Street, Merrillville, IN 46410, the festival still has two more days of excitement to be a part of! Live entertainment is offered every day. Guests enjoyed a performance from Pawnz on Friday, dancing and singing along.
Band member Chris Georgeff said, “We’ve been playing here since the early 80’s. Four of the five members of the band are actually Greek. The community of the Greek people, the food, and the fun atmosphere make us all want to come back every year.”
Festival goers can also look forward to the Greek band Ormi performing on both Saturday and Sunday. Hellenic dancers who have been practicing through the church perform every day. Those looking for free entertainment on Saturday or Sunday from noon-11 pm can count on non-stop fun.
Father Ted Poteres of the church explained, “What makes this event special is that it allows people to learn about the Greek culture through the food, music, and dancing. People come out because they love the overall atmosphere. They have fun and enjoy themselves. The old adage applies, don’t worry, be happy!”
Guests certainly enjoy the opportunity to try authentic Greek cuisine. Roasted lamb, shish-ka-bobs, Grecian chicken, gyros and the award winning “Greek Potatoes” will be waiting for all that attend. A bake sale inside the church features many traditional Greek desserts such as Karithopita. Guests 21 and older can also look forward to a beer garden.
Elias Ploutis, festival chairman, simply put it, “For the best, come to our fest. Best lamb, chicken, and bake sale.”
Justin Tillich, festival goer, started attending both the church and the festival fourteen years ago when he began dating his wife.
Justin said, “It’s kind of nice seeing some of the younger families grow with the church. It’s the whole congregation getting together and throwing a party.”
On the fence about attending? You have no reason to be! Father Ted encourages you all to stop by and experience the fun.
“Come on out for an afternoon or evening, rain or shine, and experience Greek life without all the hassles,” he said. “One can sit outside under the big tent or inside the air conditioned hall. Admission and parking on the grounds is free. OPA!”
By the end of the night, you will be wanting to come back again the next day. With a Ferris wheel that makes you jump with excitement, food that makes your mouth water, and entertainment that gets you out of your seat, the Merrillville Greek Fest has everything you could possibly want. Whether you are Greek or not, you feel like part of the family. Then again, isn’t that how every festival should be?