OPA! Santa Barbara Greek Festival Celebrates 46 Years
By Bonnie Carroll
Now in its 46th year, the Greek Festival is the longest continually running ethnic festival in Santa Barbara County and is hosted by Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. This event is a great favorite of area locals and visitors who love Greek food and culture and enjoy celebrating with the members of Santa Barbara, as well as volunteering to help with the foodservice. As we arrived Vela, a church volunteer was greeting people in the Santa Barbara Greek bookstore booth and Minos & Lucas Athanassiadis were serving cold refreshments to thirsty visitors in the Taverna.
Bouzouki music filled the main stage where Greek dancers in authentic costumes welcomed guests to join them in a traditional Greek dance, as spectators sat along the edge of the dance floor, savoring Greek food and beverages, to watch the dancing. For such a warm day there was some lively dancing in progress. The menu included Souvlaki, Quarter Chicken, Mousaka, Spanakopita, Tiropita, Loukaniko, Greek Salad, Dolmates, Manestra, Tzatziki sauce, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Rolls and Baklava. A special Greek Pastry Booth was overflowing with all the unique sweets Greeks love.
Gift booths, the Taverna, Dessert and Greek coffee booths were serving outstanding Greek food prepared and served by volunteers with long waiting lines but no one seemed to mind and the ambiance was quite pleasant. Whole families were enjoying the Greek specialties together on the patio. From 96-year-old grandmothers to tiny tots in the arms of their parents, it was a fun afternoon under the Oak Park trees.
Booth sponsors for the 2019 event were Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels, Jordano Foods & Pacific Beverage, Metson Marine Services, Inc. George & Sophie Fonti, Mesa Burger, Best Western Plus South Coast Inn, Stephens Greek Market & Grill, Federal Drug Company, Hroundas Family, Chubbies Hamburgers, Ahepa Mission Tanzania Wat3er Project, Andriana & Ernest Kolendrianos, William Poulis & Bell Pertsulakes who all did a great job supporting the 46th Greek Festival. Additional sponsors included MarBorg, The Tent Merchant, Inc, Yianni's Greek & American Deli, and Village Properties.
Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church is located at 1205 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara 92111. For information please visit www.Santabarbaraeventcenter.com