Fr. Panayiotis, priest at the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church where the festival is held, answers a few questions about the festival's history and what to expect.
Q. What initially brought about the idea of hosting a Greek Festival?
A. Almost every Greek Orthodox parish in America hosts a Greek Festival once a year. It is a sharing of their Greek culture with the community around them. The Greek culture is very rich in music, folk dances, and a multitude of dishes of tasty food. Greek Festivals have become a celebration of the Greek culture that Greek immigrants of the last century have brought over to the New World.
In addition, Greek Festivals are good fundraisers for the parishes, which help support their various activities and ministries
Q. Do the proceeds benefit anyone in particular?
A. Our Greek Festival has been established as a fundraiser for our Building Fund. It provided the opportunity to build a classic Byzantine sanctuary which stands as a jewel of architecture and a landmark in Cobb County. As we pay off our mortgage, we hope to use moneys from the festival for local community ministries and thus expand our outreach to the community.
Q. Approximately how many visitors attended last year?
A. We have estimated that about 15,000 people attended last year.
Q. Give some details about the trip to Greece give-a-way.
A. Two tickets for Greece will be given out as a door prize for those who have paid an entrance ticket. We want to open the world of historical Greece to those who come to the Festival.
Q. What kind of activities occur throughout the weekend?
A. The program includes Greek dances in traditional costumes performed by the three levels of our children's Greek dance ministry and one group of young adults. The dances will be performed at regular intervals throughout the day.
A live band will be playing Greek music and give opportunities to visitors to dance along with our people.
We have kids activities and games, face painting, caricatures, inflatable jumpers, arts and crafts, and photos with the dancers.
Q. Are the performers local residents?
A. Yes. All of them are members of our parish, mostly children and young adults.
Q. What are some of the most popular Greek dishes available at the Festival?
A. Souvlaki, pastitio, gyros, Greek salad, loukoumades, Greek pastries, and Greek coffee.
Q. How many food vendors will be there?
A. The church provides all the food stations. We also have vendors who sell many other kinds of cultural items, books, cds, and jewelry.
Q. What other information do you want our readers to know?
A. We also provide tours of our beautiful sanctuary at regular intervals. Visitors will get a chance to hear about the structure and arrangement of our worship building and ask their questions about the Orthodox Christian Faith.
On Saturday afternoon, Fr. Panayiotis will do a presentation on Holy Icons, the colorful depictions of biblical events, and Christ and the Saints. The title of the presentation is "Holy Icons: Windows into Heaven."
The Marietta Greek Festival is held at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church located at 3431 Trickum Road NE.
The festival days and times:
Friday, 3 p.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.