Charlotte’s 29th Annual Greek Festival Attracts Thousands

Do you what I like the most about living in the U.S.A.? It’s the great diversity of culture that is in this country. No where else in this world can you find the mix of cultural festivals, street fairs and parties. This year Charlotte’s calendar is filled with festivals; heritage festivals, jazz and film festivals, music and art festivals. So there is always plenty of opportunity to fulfill your festival hunger pangs.

This past Sunday, my 5 year old son and I were getting a little cabin fever and needed something to do. I had made a mental note earlier that it was time for the annual Greek festival, as it is usually scheduled in early September. I referred to my local paper and found it was the last day to enjoy this wonderful event. So we wandered over to the Dilworth community where Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Catherdal is located and were fortunate to find a parking space a few blocks within walking distance.

Yiasou ’06 was in full swing already, apparently everyone else had the same idea. I had thought that considering it was the final day and considering there was a local pro football game being played that afternoon that the crowd would be sparse. Indeed, I was incorrect. People were coming in from all directions, and after speaking with many of the volunteers, I found that this festival has been growing with popularity every year.

Yiasou (pronounced yah-SOO) means hello, goodbye and cheers. It was apparent that there were people from many walks of life enjoying the Greek culture, live music and dancing, the open air-market and of course the play areas for the children, offering rides, face and hair painting and cotton candy.

I am not alone when I say that my biggest thrill is the indulgence of the food. The festival offered both indoor and outdoor dining as well as a drive through service. The air was filled with delights from gyros, souviaki, Grecian baked chicken, Athenian foods such as baked lamb, spanakopita, dolmades and kefteda to the assorted pastries. I was thoroughly disappointed when I went to purchase a to go order of baklava only to find out that they were out of it. The closest I could get was the baklava sundae, which was worth the extra calories from the ice cream. Next year, I should probably come to this festival on opening day to insure that I’ll get to lavish in this wonderful, special treat. Afterall, that is precisely why I attend this festival.

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