Greek Festival celebrates culture with food, entertainment

By Erin Kolb

Local Greek residents gathered at the annual Greek Fest this weekend at its new location of St. Mary Catholic Church, 329 Pine St.

The festival, previously held at Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road, was hosted by St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Bill Vassilogambros, the parish council’s vice president, said Greek Fest has been happening every year for as long as he can remember.

“People should get to experience the Greek hospitality and the laid-back lifestyle,” Vassilogambros said. “People come and leave satisfied. Most people like to experience Greek food.”

Vassilogambros said one of the most popular aspects of the festival is the food: The festival features traditional Greek foods like Greek baked chicken, souvlaki, gyros, lamb and fresh-baked desserts.

DeKalb resident Maria Mecic looks forward to the food every year.

“It’s nice to have the option of eating inside or outside,” Mecic said. “I like the fact that they have a grocery store set up with authentic Greek choices, as well.”

DeKalb residents Dorothea Bilder and Toula Kourvetaris set up a grocery store every year at the festival with food choices like Greek pasta, feta cheese and fresh oregano.

“We get all our products from Chicago since there’s no Greek grocery store in town,” Bilder said. “It gives people who wish to cook like this the proper ingredients.”

Along with traditional Greek food, DJ Steven Makropoulos said the festival offered traditional Greek music and entertainment.

To Makropoulos, knowing one’s culture is vital to one’s self-knowledge.

“Culture makes us who we are,” Makropoulos said. “If you don’t know where you’re at, you don’t know where you’re going.”

The festival is held every year in the last week of June.