Opa! The St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church invites you to Savannah’s Greek Fest! Nearing its 63rd year, this is one event that is a guaranteed success. The festival is held at the Hellenic Center on 14th West Anderson Street, and will have you feeling like a full blooded Grecian through and through. The celebration is annual, held for three days in the second week of October. Entry is free for the first two days from 11am to 4 pm, and after 4pm a $2 donation will be requested; Entry is also two dollars on the last day.
The festival draws thousands of people yearly, and from most everyone, it’s all about the food! From familiar Gyros and Greek Salads, to more authentic Spanakopita (spinach with feta cheese and herbs baked in layers of filo) and Dolmades (rice, ground beef, and herbs rolled in grape leaves), the menu is diverse with something for everyone. Other items on the menu include baklava: pecans and spices baked into a pastry; pastitsio: baked macaroni with ground meat and cheese; Greek lamb and chicken cooked in oregano and lemon juice; kourabiedes: buttered cookies with powdered sugar; kataife: shredded filo with chopped nuts, spices, and honey syrup; and finikia: honey dipped spice cookies. There are also combination plates sold for a great bargain price, and you can also access their menu online to order ahead of time and carry out your food at the drive through if you’re in a rush!
However, if you’re looking for an even more authentic experience, head into the Hellenic center gymnasium with your meal for live Greek music and dance performances. There are three different troupes, Zoe: an adult troupe, Goya: a teenage troupe, and Ta Pethia: a children’s troupe. Don’t be surprised if they pull you up to dance with them even if you still have food left to eat, they love involving everyone! These dance performances happen every day of the festival, so no matter what day you’ve arrived, there’s always entertainment. Visitors are also encouraged to take a guided tour of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, which was recently renovated just a year ago. There are seven different times throughout the three-day festival when the tours take place, and the decor, architecture, and various church artifacts that will be seen along the tour are unique, one of a kind, and shouldn’t be missed.
Also, at the entrance of the Hellenic Center during the three days of the festival there’s a big authentic Greek market. Here you can find many Greek classics that might be harder to find in local supermarkets. There are a wide variety of items from olives, feta cheese, babaganoush, taramosalata, and pepperoncini. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring a piece of Greece home with you to enjoy for weeks after the festival is over.
Not only is the Savannah Greek Fest fun and delicious, but it also helps promote knowledge of Greek traditions, religions, and teachings. Savannah is very proud of our multicultural community, so come on down and experience just a small part of what makes Savannah so unique!