The Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Church hosted their 49th annual Grecian Festival from July 13th - 15th! The weekend was packed with fun for all ages and included traditional Greek music, dancing, gift shopping, a beer garden, and of course, sampling of traditional Greek foods!
Held at the Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville, the festival kicked off on Friday with live entertainment which continued throughout the weekend. Guests enjoyed performances by Together on Friday and found themselves entertained by Caught on Cline and the ORMI Orchestra on Saturday. Sunday wrapped up with the Nick Kazonis Band and an encore performance by the ORMI Orchestra.
“What makes this event special is that it allows people to learn about the Greek culture through the food, music, and dancing,” Father Ted Poteres said. “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 found plenty of ways to be happy and entertained. The opportunity to try authentic Greek cuisine presented a fun opportunity for both young and old as they sampled roasted lamb, shish-ka-bobs, Grecian chicken, gyros, and the highly anticipated Greek Potatoes. Inside the church, a bakesale raised funds with traditional desserts such as karithopita, loukoumades, and other pastries. The mouthwatering food was only one of the highlights that visitors enjoyed as the festival continued throughout the weekend.
Some of the most memorable performances of the festival featured the Hellenic Dancers, a troupe of traditional Greek dancers who entertained the crowds each evening. Greek dance is an old tradition dating back to the days of Plato and Aristotle. With different styles and interpretations, the church offered practices leading up to the event, helping individuals master the craft before putting on their celebrated performances.
As always, the Grecian Festival created a wonderful opportunity for others to enjoy Greek culture, food, and dancing. By inviting the community in for a weekend of festivities and fun, the Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral provided what they promised and more to both first time visitors and those who view the festival as a tradition.
If you missed the festival this year, don’t worry, they’ll be back next year for their 50th celebration!
*Photo Credit: Curtis Hankins