Get your Greek on!
The 32nd Annual Yiasou Greek Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina starts September 9th and runs through September 12 on the campus of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Since 1978, the festival has celebrated Greek culture and religion with entertainment, food, shopping, history and tours of the Cathedral, which is the focal point of the festival. You don’t have to be Greek to attend the Yiasou festival, which means ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘cheers’ in Greek. In fact, you’ll hate to say goodbye when it’s over, so make the most of it while it’s here.
Get a real taste of Greek with mainstay meals of roasted lamb, Grecian baked chicken, Grecian-style pizza, gyro and souvlaki sandwiches and “Athenian” baked fish. Other tempting fare includes chicken sandwiches on pita bread, tiropita, which is feta cheese pie, Greek salads, baklava, and Greek iced coffee, which is frappe.
Yes, it’s a foodie’s dream because there are also pastries, a wine tasting booth and the Bakaliko Grocery Store where Greek cheese, dolmades, pastichio, and Kalamata olives can be purchased. If you’re not exactly sure what some of these foods are, check out the recipe section on the Yiasou Greek Festival web page.
It’s not all about the food–really. Live entertainment is a big part of the festival, including Kostas Kastanis and his band, which will play Greek music each day of the festival, and dance performances, in which members of Holy Trinity perform in traditional Greek costumes.
The cathedral, built in 1954,is at the center of the Yiasou Greek Festival. Tours, accompanied by historical lectures, will take place every hour on the hour and will showcase the stunning iconography and Byzantine architecture of the church.
Learn about Greek art, Greek language and the cultural traditions and customs by visiting the Greek exhibits and Hosanna Bookstore. Exhibits include bronze statues and frescoes, among other things. Dale Grote, Professor of Classics at University of North Carolina Charlotte, will discuss classical Greek culture during 20-minute segments each day.
Don’t forget to take in the art galleries or to browse the gift shops for jewelry, cookbooks, t-shirts, hats and other items. There’s also a special area for the smallest ones, Children’s Play Land, which has rides face painting and inflatable play areas.
Want to experience Greek culture firsthand? Take a chance by buying raffle tickets for two round-trip airline tickets to Athens. Raffle tickets are $2 each, $5 for three tickets and $10 for ten tickets.
Even if you don’t win tickets to Greece, a trip to the Yiasou Greek Festival is a ticket to be Greek for a few days.
Admission: $2, children under 12 get in free when accompanied by parent or guardian.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
600 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
Thursday, September 9th–11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, September 10th & 11th–11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 12–12 noon to 8 p.m.