Hosted By St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, the 44th Annual Big Greek Festival is ready to rock New Jersey, May 30 – June 1.
This year, as at each of the last 43 celebrations, thousands of visitors to Big Greek Festival will depart the St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church grounds after learning how Greeks seek to preserve the character and ties to Greek culture in a classic way – by bringing together a handful of key ingredients central to a characteristic Greek community gathering:
– Fresh, hot off the grills dishes and homemade delicacies
– Live Greek music and entertainment featuring Greek folk dancing
– Traditional Greek wines and liquors
– Family friendly fun including for younger children
– Lots and lots of people
Hundreds of hours are invested in preparing for the throngs who travel – sometimes for hours – to be immersed in the distinctively cultural experience.
The three-day event kicks off this year on Friday, May 30, with a takeout menu. Evening festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. The doors open at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, running until 11:30 p.m.; Sunday starts at the same time and finishes up at 8:00 p.m.
“If novices to our festival don’t come hungry, it doesn’t take long for the sounds of the sizzle and scent of the seasoned gyro meat and souvlaki to stir up their appetites,” stated St. Andrew Parish Council President Keith Marin.
“When they’ve sampled savory dishes from our menu, it’s not long after that they discover the sweet goodies and pastries overflowing on our dessert tables, calling their names!”
The entertainment is particularly enthralling, as the Greek Orthodox Youth Association (GOYA) dance troupe and younger counterparts take to the stage, stunning audiences with the dancers’ lively steps, twists and turns; dancers are skilled at weaving through the crowds and draw visitors to their feet to join in the fun.
During the festival, organizers ensure the venue is family friendly, with activities specifically for children. Adults and kids alike enjoy wandering the marketplace, viewing the handicrafts presented by all types of vendors.
Of special interest are church tours, which reveal craftsmanship and intricate detail adorning colorful icons and wood carvings, and bright and colorful glass windows.
“We’re committed to delivering ‘Even More in 44!” added Marin.
A downloadable coupon for free admission is available at www.BigGreekFestival.com, as well as a menu, directions and more.