Greek Festival 2017: A Local Taste of Culture

As a working woman with student loans, I don’t get to travel often. In fact, I just recently started to scratch my travel itch but the reality is I wasn’t able to for quite some time. Over time I learned to curtail the feeling of being “boxed in” to only the same people and experiences by attending local cultural festivals. One of my favorites is the Greek festival; they are a free, fun, and unassuming way to get outside the box without spending a fortune. 

I have always had such a deep appreciation of culture. In high school, every year we held an international festival. My high school was wonderfully diverse, boasting representation from almost every continent so it was there that I developed an interest in learning more about different cultures. The students showcased authentic food (with parent chef volunteers, of course), dance, dress, and even taught a little of the language. It was a day of multicultural celebrations, an immersion of culture, a learning experience. 

That brings us to the present. I found out there was such a thing as the Greek festival about six years ago. I was stuck in the work-work-sleep cycle and didn’t get out much. A coworker and I struck up a conversation and she mentioned she was going to the Greek festival later in the week. I had never heard of such a thing and was curious about what one would expect. She gave a good report so I decided to check it out. 

What I found was beautiful! I learned that local Greek Orthodox churches host a festival that is open to the surrounding community and all that are able to attend- and boy, people showed up! Cars filled the church parking lot and lined along neighborhood curbs for blocks on end. The beauty of the church, the friendly faces, handcrafted jewelry everywhere, the lively music, traditional costumes, and OH, my first tastings of Greek food excited me so much that I returned year after year until I moved. 

I thought that those days were over until my hairdresser mentioned the Annapolis Greek Festival at Ss. Constantine & Helen after an appointment. “What?! There are festivals here? When? Where?!”! I asked her. She told me all that I needed to know sand later that night I called my Hun and we set a date with the festival the next afternoon. 

Here’s are a few quick pix:

Group of male dancers create a human pyramid.
A traditional dance group performs a stunt for the crowd
Open platter of Greek food on a tray.
The full spread: Greek salad, chicken oreganato, rice pilaf, fasolaka, and spanakopita.
Close up of backlava pastry.
Sweet baklava for dessert!

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