This year, the 42nd annual Greek Festival returns to celebrate various aspects of Greek culture in true New Orleans fashion. Greek Fest will be held over Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25), as it is every year, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral nestled right on Bayou St. John. As is common in a multicultural city like ours there is and has been a sizable population of Greeks, so the festival was founded to celebrate that culture and its traditions.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral is a Byzantine Cathedral founded in 1864 as the first Greek Orthodox church in the U.S. During the festival, attendees can tour the cathedral to get a sense of its history and experience the awe of being in a magnificent building that has been part of the Lakeview neighborhood for just over a century and a half.
In addition to touring the cathedral, attendees can enjoy many other facets of Greek life and culture. For entertainment, a live Greek band plays traditional Greek music, and Hellenic dancers join the show to give onlookers a chance to see firsthand how the Greeks entertain. If they dare, attendees can attempt the Mount Olympus climbing wall, a veritable feat to reach the home of the legendary Greek gods. If you have kids in tow, there’s an Athenian playground they can run around in while you enjoy the music.
And, of course, like any other proper festival, Greek Fest serves up an array of delicious, traditional Greek foods. For entrees, guests can try a gyro sandwich, goatburgers, or the Traditional Greek Dinner, a smattering of tiropita, spanakopita, pastitsio, meatballs and a Greek salad with dolma (stuffed grape leaves). Vegetarians can request their own plates as well. For sides, attendees can feast on calamari or feta fries, and they can wrap up the meal with a baklava sundae, loukoumades or yogurt with honey and walnuts.
If you come from a Greek family or simply love to sample Greek food, music and family fun, head to New Orleans this Memorial Day weekend.