As the festival’s website says, it’s again that time of year for Greenville residents to become Greek for a day.
Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral will celebrate its 35th annual Greek Festival from May 14-16. The celebration of Greek culture will feature a drive-thru and on-site dining for visitors to taste some classic Greek dishes like spanakopita, dolmades, gyros and baklava.
The church has been holding the festival since 1987 and has usually hosted a variety of Greek cultural performances and activities throughout its three days. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a drive-thru-only version of the festival happened last year. This year, an on-site dining area has been included where visitors can order food and beverages. Performers will also be featured showing dining guests traditional Greek dances.
Harry Zolides, president of the parish, says they hope to return to normal operations next year showcasing vendors, proving church tours, exhibiting cultural displays and having entertainment and rides for children.
“If you’re familiar with festivals in the past, obviously it was food and dancers and a band and vendors and church tours and other cultural displays and so forth. We’re not going to have all of that — this is primarily focused around food,” he said.
Zolides says festival organizers are asking people who chose to eat on-site to enjoy their meals remember that because of safety precautions, only a certain amount of people are allowed to eat on-site, so people are asked to sample the Greek offerings available and then make room for the next guests.
If previous years indicate anything, there will be plenty of guests. Zolides says they average about 10,000 meals in three days.
“The Greenville community has come out every year and made this bigger and better every year,” Zolides says. “We’re trying to be part of Greenville opening up and we think this is a good first step.”
The festival will be open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m at 406 North Academy Street in Greenville.