By Erin Keating
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Roanoke hosted its tenth annual Greek Festival from September 18-20th.
The parking lot behind the church was set up with a wide variety of food stands featuring traditional Greek foods like Moussaka, and desserts like Baklava and Loukomades – fried dough balls covered in honey and cinnamon. The food was so popular that the festival even has a drive-thru station in order to meet the demands of the community. It’s clear to see why the Greek Festival is featured as one of the “Best Food Festivals in Southwest Virginia” according to Virginia Living Magazine. Even better, all of the food is made fresh by the parishioners of Holy Trinity. In addition to the food, there was live music, featuring the Kostas Kastanis Band, throughout the festival as well as dancing exhibitions during the evenings.
The dancing exhibitions featured young people from the church community in traditional Greek dress from various parts of the islands, performing dances culturally specific to different regions within the country. After a brief intermission, the kids changed into modern clothes for more contemporary Greek dances.
The Agora “Marketplace” Vendors inside the church was another feature of the festival. Inside the Agora Market, people found vendors selling everything from jewelry to cookware to home-made soaps and body lotion. Church tours also allowed people to learn more about Holy Trinity. The Greek Festival serves as a way to fund the church, whose small, tight-knit, community relies on the festival as a major source of proceeds to keep the church running throughout the year. A Kid-Zone area was also featured at the festival including face painting, sand art, a bouncy slide, coloring, and an Opa Toss. For the adults, a big draw was the grand prize raffle of a trip to Greece, or a $1,500 check.
Both the MIKRO Marathon a half marathon event, and the Turkey Trot (5K) were advertised when people first walked into the festival, so keep your eye out for both of those upcoming events.
The festival, which was presented by WDBJ7, was particularly special this year because a portion of the proceeds benefitted scholarships set-up in memory of Alison Parker and Adam Ward.