Photo courtesy of Elaine Lyda.
0912 Greek Festival crowdFamilies enjoy last year's Greek Festival downtown.
It’s that time of year again, so mark your calendar and come hungry to the 40th Annual Greek Festival, to be held September 27 - 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Birmingham.
One of our area’s most highly anticipated events and a true cultural experience, the festival is an act of love from Birmingham’s Greek community.
“Like many of my fellow parishioners, I go all the way back to the years when the festival began,” said Inverness resident Elaine Lyda, now the festival’s media chairperson. “My mother, Boula Constantine, and my entire family have been involved with the festival for the entire 40 years.”
Elaine and her husband, Larry, have three sons, Nolan (21), Nicklaus (13), and Luke (11), who are the third generation of workers serving the food and working the drive-thru with other family members. Nick and Luke started Greek dancing at the festival when they were three years old.
“It’s generational,” Lyda said. “Just like the ladies who are making all of the pastries and passing that on to the next generation.”
Some of Birmingham’s most prominent Greek chefs and restauranteurs have contributed their culinary skills to the festival through the years. This year voluneteers will prepare and serve up to 2,000 pounds of salad, 8,000 chicken quarters, and 15,000 pieces of baklava.
Besides delicious Greek cuisine, visitors enjoy live music, dancing by the church youth, and a spirited atmosphere that embraces everyone as family.
If you want to pick up lunch or dinner for co-workers or family, there is a popular take-out option, now 40 percent of the festival’s business, available in drive-thru and walk-up lines.
Free parking is located in the Liberty National parking deck one block away located between 20th Street and Richard Arrington Boulevard.
For more information, visit bhamgreekfestival.com or check their Facebook page for updates. During the festival, visitors are encouraged to call ahead for meal orders of 10 or more at 716-3086.