I?Ii??Ii??, or in English, OPA! The Stroudsburg Holy Cross Greek festival will be held on Thursday, June 8 through Sunday, June 11. The hours for Thursday through Saturday will be 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. On Sunday, the festival will run from 12 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.Ai??
There are two festivals held each year, a spring fest which is this weekend, and a fall fest. Each year there are delicious home-cooked foods, traditional Greek music and dancing, and various stands selling goods.
The Greek Fest is very popular. Ai??In fact, many SASD students attend the event. There is something there for everyone to do. The food is arguably the biggest attraction, with more and more people enjoying it each year.Ai??All the food at the festival is homemade and fresh.
“The food is phenomenal. My family always gets gyros and we love them,” said junior Abigail Thornton. “The combination of music, dancing, and great food is a great way to experience Greek culture and makes me want to come back every year, “said Thornton.
Gyros, a Greek staple at the festival, are made with three different fillings: beef, chicken, or lamb.
A few other very popular foods are souvlaki and spanakopita. Also there are popular drinks and desserts. Frappe, an iced coffee that is often enjoyed daily in Greece, is a hit every year at the festival. Baklava is the most well known Greek dessert, made from filo dough (a very thin paper like dough), honey, and mixed nuts. It is very sweet and very satisfying.Ai??
Former SHS substitute Ms. Stacey Van Why, is of Greek origin. Ai??She loves attending the festival.Ai??”I think the most exciting part is watching the kids dress up in traditional costumes and perform the dances, and the food of course!” said Van Why.
Dance is a huge part of the Greek festival as well as the Greek culture. Everyone will crowd around the pavilion to watch the children of all ages as well as adults dance. Each year they all make new Greek dance arrangements to perform, and there are different groups based on ages.
One of the most popular dances is the zembekiko and it became famous in the well known movie Zorba the Greek. Another famous dance is the kalamatiano, which is a 10-step dance that is fairly simple and easy to follow along with. When the age groups are done performing, the floor is open to anyone who would like to try the dances. Strangers join hands and learn the dances from each other.
“It gets so crowded but it is a good thing,” said sophomore Sean Pickett. “I mean so many people enjoy it. It has always been great, especially when everyone is dancing in the middle in a circle,” he added.
The Greek festival continues to draw larger crowds each year. This coming weekend should be no exception. Ai??So mark your calendars and come out and enjoy one of Stroudsburg’s unique cultural experiences.