Sunday, March 7, 2021

Greek festival preserves Greek heritage



By Carl Kelly

The people of St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church are proud of their Greek heritage. They preserve their culture as best they can. They teach it to their children. They share it with the surrounding community.

That is the point and purpose of the Greek Festival they have held for 20 years. They play the music, sing the songs, dance the dances of Greece.

And, they punctuate the entire three day festival with shouts of, “Opa!” It is a shout of joy that resists translation, a shout of affirmation and praise, a shout for the dance that brings Greeks together, those born so and those who choose to be so for a day.

Mild Athenian beer, strong Greek coffee, and the red and white regional wines of Greece flowed as friends greeted one another and gathered once again to affirm their heritage, to re-connect.

Traditional Greek foods, lamb shanks, mousaka, spanakopita, baklava, souvlaki, loukoumathes teased eyes and nose.

St. Katherine’s youth costumed up to dance the regional folk dances of Greece, Nisotiko Syrto, Kotsaree, Tsamiko, Karagovna, and the Kalamatinia, the national dance of Greece.

The church was open for tours and discussions of Orthodox Church murals called icons that tell the Bible stories.

This year’s three-day festival was Friday through Sunday, February 11-13.

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