Be Greek for the day and enjoy authentic food, music, live entertainment, dancing, and more for the entire family at the 33rd annual Greek Festival held at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
The event is located a half-mile east of I-5 at the Manchester Avenue exit in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 12. Free admission for active duty military and their families with military ID on Sunday, Sept. 11. Free parking is available at adjacent Mira Costa College. For two days, the church grounds are transformed into a quaint Greek village atmosphere where you can experience fine food, traditional Greek dancing, and the warmth of Greek hospitality.
The open marketplace typifies a traditional Bazaar with Greek imports, pottery, fine jewelry, artwork, Greek Deli specialty food items, a selection of special Greek wines, and an array of items at YiaYia’s (Grandma’s) Treasures. Visit the North County Greek School booth and learn to say and write your name in Greek. Then get a personalized T-shirt with your new name in Greek letters. While adults are shopping, the children can enjoy the new Fun Zone with crafts, game booths and carnival rides for kids of all ages.
Be sure to enter the online only contest to win a Free VIP dinner for four at the festival. No purchase necessary, restrictions apply. Enter the contest at cardiffgreekfest.com.
The church’s award-winning folk dance troupes, Armonia and Neo Kyma Dancers, will perform in full traditional dress on the outdoor patio. Those interested in learning to Greek dance will have the opportunity as instruction will take place throughout the weekend. Afterward, try Greek dancing in the Taverna to the live music of the popular and contemporary band The Olympians. “We are convinced that you will shout ‘Opa!’ when you watch our famous Greek dancers perform and as they teach you how to dance the Greek way. We welcome you to our Greek Festival and enjoy,” said Father John Angelis, parish priest.
Church tours will be held each day at noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m., where visitors may view the magnificent mosaics and Botticino marble. Father Angelis will explain the iconography adorning various architectural pieces of the Church, which were produced under the direction of Bruno Salvatori, a world recognized master of mosaics. From its unique stained glass windows that feature early Byzantine symbols, to the golden dome that portrays Christ the Pantokrator, the church represents one of the finest works of Byzantine art in the world.
The annual drawing for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan, or $30,000 cash, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $10 each and limited to 7,500 sold. Tickets can be purchased at the festival or on the website at cardiffgreekfest.com. Winner need not be present.
“We are pleased to have you join us in this celebration of our Greek culture. We extend our hospitality and invite you to taste our food and drink, experience our music, learn about our religion and our traditions, and have a wonderful time,” said Peter Fellios, parish council president. All proceeds benefit the church building fund and charities throughout the world. Through hard work and dedication, Saints Constantine and Helen has assisted many organizations in Africa, the Japan earthquake effort, as well as Kids n’ Cancer and the Community Resource Center in Encinitas. It is the church’s goal to give back through celebration as well as philanthropy.
For more information, visit www.cardiffgreekfest.com.