Middletown Greek Fest: What to know for this weekend’s event

Middletonians can go Greek for a day during this weekend’s Greek Fest.

The 52nd annual Greek Fest will be at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate the culture of Greece on Friday through Sunday at the church grounds at 2500 Grand Ave. Festival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The event attracts more than 3,500 visitors each year.

While the festival doesn’t start until Friday, you can stop by the church grounds Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. for a special preview and pick up some assorted pastries and gyros at its “Gyros on the Go” drive through on the Stanley Avenue side of the church, where youth volunteers take your order and bring the food back, said Nikki Nestor McNeely, festival co-chair.

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The festival will feature Greek specialties al fresco including Gyro sandwiches, Greek sausage, souvlaki (Shish Kabobs) or Greek salads, with or without gyro meat.

In addition the Pastry House will be well-stocked with handmade Greek specialties including baklava. She said more than 3,000 pieces of baklava has been made for the festival. Pastry orders can be made ahead of time at the Festival Facebook website or call: 513-424-6521 or 513-423-7734.

McNeely said this year’s festival will have a few changes from previous years. While there will not be any kids games this year, the biggest change will be not be serving Greek dinners in the dining room.

“As our church congregation has gotten older and smaller, it was difficult to have enough volunteers to handle all aspects of the festival and had to cut some things back,” McNeely said. “So, we apologize ahead of time but hope that won’t deter you from coming over to enjoy a Greek sandwich, pastries, honey balls, glass of wine, or a bottle of Greek beer while listening to Greek music.”

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The festival will have plenty of live Greek music throughout the weekend by George Karras, who will accompany various dance troupes performing traditional Greek dances. He will play the bouzouki, a Greek stringed instrument and will offer stories about Greek music, dances, history, food, culture, and the people of Greece. In addition, there will be two performances by the Shimmy Cats Belly Dance Troupe.

The festival will also feature vendors selling Greek jewelry, art, crafts, or providing information on home remodeling and an energy barrier. The Middletown Dog Training Club will perform demonstrations and and Veterans Affairs will be providing information on veterans’ services.

Raffle drawings will be held at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and at 5 p.m. Sunday for cash prizes as well as overnight stays and golf packages at three of Ohio’s lodges.


HOW TO GO

WHAT: 52nd Annual Middletown Greek Fest

WHERE: St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 2500 Grand Ave., Middletown

WHEN: July 26-28: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

ADMISSION: Free

WHY: To celebrate the rich culture of Greece with food, music and dancing.

MORE INFORMATION: https://www.facebook.com/MiddletownGreekFest/

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