The New Orleans Greek Festival gets ready to celebrate its 46 year anniversary this Friday through Sunday on Bayou St. John on Robert E. Lee Boulevard.
Due to popular demand, however, there will be a soft opening on Thursday from 5-9 pm with a $5 entry fee for the second year in a row. The soft opening will have no live entertainment and there will be a limited menu with items served in to-go boxes that will include Traditional Greek Dinners, Lamb Plate, Greek Salad, Greek Pastries (pre-packaged Baklava or Assorted only), Wine, Beer, and Soft Drinks. The Greek Grocery will also be open.
As always the Greek Fest will provide attendees an unforgettable experience filled with food and numerous events.
The food available will include favorites such as Greek dinners of Pastitsio, tiropita, kieftethes (Greek meatballs), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and a vegetarian plate. Other options include gyro, goat burgers, Souvlaki (grilled pork or chicken), Greek salad, a spring lamb platter, and beet salad. Deserts will include a baklava sundae, loukoumades (Greek beignets), and The Pastry Shoppe."
There will also be brand new food items this year. These new food items include a moussaka booth, a mastiha cocktail bar, a lamb plate, the "Not Just for Vegans Platter," a meze sampler, and numerous gluten free options.
Throughout the weekend, guests can expect to be thoroughly entertained with events fun for families and all ages.
The annual New Orleans Greek Festival Run/Walk race will be held Friday evening with registration beginning at 6:00pm and the race starting at 7:00pm.
For the kids, guests can expect to find the Athenian playground complete with the 24 foot tall Mount Olympus climbing wall, the Hercules hammer to test your strength, face painting and crafts, and inflatables for children between the ages of 2-5.
For older guests, there will be cooking demonstrations at the Greek Grocery present by Paul Andersson where attendees can learn the basics of Greek cooking in short, yet informative sessions. Cooking sessions will be held on Saturday at 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm, as well as on Sunday at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
On the music and dance side of things, there will be dance performance throughout the weekend inside the Hellenic Cultural Center on Friday at 6:00pm and 9:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm, 4:30pm, and 8:00pm, and on Sunday at 1:30pm. Dance performances will take place outside near the live music stage on Friday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:00pm. The dances will be highlighted by the Little Dancers, a group of children from the Greek School, inside the Hellenic Cultural Center on Sunday at 4:00pm. Live Greek music will also play throughout the entire festival on the outside stage.
If you are looking for a more laid back event to attend, then guests can partake in a guided tour of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Guests will be taken on a guided tour of the cathedral's faith, history, and artifacts by the Cathedral's priest, Father George Wilson and the Holy Trinity Chanter, Dimitri Golfos.
Guests will get the chance to see an exhibit of vintage photographs, documents, and newspaper articles from across the cathedral's 150 year existence. The early stories of the first Greeks in New Orleans will also be told as well as a curated collection of Orthodox Paschal artifacts.
Cathedral tours begin on Friday at 7:00pm and 8:00pm, Saturday at noon, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:30pm, as well as on Sunday at noon and 5:00pm.
Doors open at 5:00 pm Friday, 11:00am on Saturday and Sunday with an $8 entry fee and children under 12 enter for free. If guests wear a toga on Sunday, however, guests can enter free of charge.