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Opa! Greek-American Festival turns 42


The Ellinopeda dancers perform at the 41st Annual Greek American Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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One of the city's oldest and most popular festivals enters its 42nd year as the Greek-American Festival kicks off Friday night and continues through Sunday.

Expect incredible food, an exploration of Greek culture, music, traditional dance, children's activities, and more during the event that runs Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

Admission is free from 11 to 3 on Friday and $4 for anyone older than 12 during the rest of the event.

Cooking demonstrations will include: Friday at 7 p.m. saganaki (flaming cheese) with Becky Skiadas; Saturday at 6 p.m. tiropitas (cheese pie) with Presbytera Ann Hadgigeorge; Sunday at 2:30 p.m. karithopita (walnut cake) with Roula Manton; and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. George Kamilaris will prepare pastichio (Greek lasagna).

The Levendes of Detroit will provide Greek and American music Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Olympus from Cleveland will perform Greek and American techno music.

George Sarantou, festival publicity chairman, said that one of the festival's more popular features are tours of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 740 N. Superior St., where the event is held.

"The architecture's a little different and there's a lot of iconography and it's actually very interesting," he said, noting that people who have taken the tour have become so intrigued that they have joined the church. "We find that we're not really conducting a mission to bring in converts ... but some people actually end up joining the church, which is interesting."

Self-guided tours will be Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Live Cathedral tours will be conducted with Father Aristotle Damaskos Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Three lectures on Greek language and culture will be held in the community center. Friday at 8 p.m. "Greek Language 101" will be presented by Dawn Anagnos. On Saturday at 4:30 p.m. the "Greek Culture Olympics" will be held, and on Sunday 1:30 p.m. seminarian David Mynihan will present "My Big Fat Greek Orthodox Baptism."

The entrances for the festival are at Walnut and Superior Streets and at Summit and Walnut. Parking is available throughout the festival neighborhood and at the Vistula Garage (Superior and Orange Streets).

For more information, call 419-243-9189 or

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