CHICAGO - If you want to feel like you’re in Athens for the weekend, Chicago’s North Side is where you want to be!
In its 74th year, the Lincoln Square Greek Fest at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is jam-packed with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Greece.
"Xronia polla, may God bless us with many years and many festivals," said Rev. Father Andreas (Andrew) Georganas of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
Between live music and games, there is something for the whole family – and that of course means food.
Gates to the Lincoln Square Greek Fest opened at 5 p.m. Friday, and all are welcome. Located at California Avenue and Winona Street, the festival has been a summertime staple for decades.
"We have the loukoumades, we have baklava, gyros," said Fr. Andrew. "Pastitso, flaming cheese, keftedakia, an assortment of Greek delicacies and food waiting for our friends to join us."
"We plan on serving about 6,000 souvlakia, there’s a thousand half chickens that we’ve marinaded,"said Zach Bazianos, chairman, Lincoln Square Greek Fest. "Join us, please be here, if you want value, if you want great food, you want Greek food, please come and join us and enjoy a great weekend."
Outside, the grills are fired up!
"I saw they have saganaki, that is my favorite meal to get at a Greek restaurant, so I highly recommend," said Susanna Triamtafillou.
Inside, parishioners and volunteers are hard at work. Everything is homemade – down to the dressing.
"I went to a lot of them when I was really young and it was honestly the best event of my life," said Triamtafillou. "I love how happy everyone is, I love the food, there’s just no way you can go wrong."
For many, the fest hits close to home.
"I was married here with my husband 33 years ago," said Michele Lekas.
For Stephanie Meletis, Greek festivals hold a special place in her heart.
"My dad’s been the chairman of the Greek festival in Charleston, South Carolina for about 30, 35 years, so everywhere we go, he’s like, go to the Greek festival," said Meletis.
New and old friends, sharing in a weekend to remember.
"Now, when I think of Lincoln Square Greek Fest, what comes to mind is World Cup, the Murrow awards, Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup – Lincoln Square Greek Fest, that how awesome of a weekend we’re going to have," said Fr. Andrew.
The Lincoln Square Greek Fest runs until 11 p.m. on Friday, June 9. It will resume on Saturday, June 10 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. with the festivities to wrap up on Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
Learn more by clicking HERE.