Let the Sudbury Greek Festival show you what Greece is all about
We are very excited for the 27th annual Greek Festival this year, running from July 26 to July 28 at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (Hellenic Centre), 486 Ester Road, located on the beautiful St. Charles Lake in the South End of Sudbury. Doors open at 4 pm on Friday and 11 am on Saturday and Sunday, and the Greek community is proud to host this event FREE of charge for all guests. Parking is limited at the church, so please consider carpooling.
Over the course of the weekend, rain or shine, the festival will be making sure that everyone in attendance is having a great time and taking part in the celebration and enjoyment of Greek culture. The main purpose of this volunteer-run festival is the sharing of Greek heritage through authentic food, traditional Greek dance, and the creation of a unique environment to celebrate one of Sudbury’s most prominent cultures.
We reached out to Athina Moutsatsos who works hard on the organizing committee for the festival and this is what she had to say "I think I can speak for all of us first and second-generation Greeks when I say that the Greek Festival is important to us for slightly different reasons. We still want to share our culture with our Sudbury Community, but I think we all live this sort of half-and-half life, even if we don't realize it. We are true and proud Canadians through and through (almost all of us first & second-generation Greeks are only half Greek), but there is this other part of us lingering in the background. The Greek Festival is when we get to be immersed in our own culture, to feel a little bit more connected to our families and friends in Greece - and best of all, we get to share it with all of you! We are incredibly proud of the generations before us who left Greece to start a new life in Sudbury and built our Greek Community into what it is today. I think we owe it to the OG's (Original Greek's), and to our future generations, to continue celebrating our culture."
food & drink
As always, the festival will be serving amazingly delicious authentic Greek food. They offer dinner plates of chicken and/or pork souvlaki that are served with rice, potatoes, Greek salad, bread, and tzatziki. Also, on the menu is a traditional dish called Moussaka which is sliced eggplant, ground meat, spices, and tomato sauce, topped with bechamel. Check out the full menu here if you want to get hungry.
For the second year in a row, the festival is going to be offering the show-stopping fresh-flaming Saganaki, a fried cheese appetizer, and they are also roasting three lambs on Saturday evening for the first time. Something that will be very popular on a hot July day is their new cool frappe, which is a sweet and refreshing foam-covered iced coffee.
The Gyro Express booth will be on-site all weekend to satisfy those cravings that have been building all year.
Greeks have always been known for having a good time, and nothing captures this more than their traditional Greek dance performances. The Sudbury Hellenic Dance Troupe will be expressing their hard work and dance skills throughout the weekend by smashing plates and displaying impressive synchronized movement. Everyone is welcome to join in on the dancing while enjoying the great music with friends and family.
history & community
The Greek community has a very strong presence in Sudbury after many families settled here, and have significantly contributed to the development and growth of our city. Over time it has remained extremely important that they never let go of their Greek traditions. The community in Sudbury always had the goal of building a Church that could be used to preserve Greek culture and host events such as this. This dream was made a reality about 25 years ago when the Sudbury Greek Community came together and began construction on what is now the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the Hellenic Centre. Proceeds from the weekend are used to support the church, and this year the Greek Festival is using some of the money generated to make a generous donation to the Maison McCulloch Hospice, which provides the City of Sudbury with an extremely valuable resource.
"The Sudbury Greek Community is fairly new, given that the majority of the OG's immigrated here only about 60-70 years ago. In the beginning, our festival was a way for those Original Greeks to share their culture with their new community, and to hold onto their roots; to feel a little bit closer to home," said Athina Moutsatsos when asked about the history of the Greek Festival.
This festival is clearly one of the highlights of Sudbury summers and something that really brings the community together. Whether you have Greek ancestry, have Greek friends, or have no connection to Greece, it doesn't make a difference. Everyone is welcome and treated as a family throughout this fun-filled weekend of celebrations, as you will experience an authentic Greek experience without leaving the South End.
Please check out the Greek Festival's new website for more information and details on this great cultural festival!