Come for the culture — stay for the great food
By Heidi Sutton
Lovers of all things Greek will gather at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson next week when the church holds its 56th annual Greek Festival from Aug. 24 to 27. The event will feature carnival rides, face painting, games, music by Asteri Entertainment, traditional Hellenic dance performances by the Rythmos Hellenic Dance Group and culinary delights.
Authentic mouth-watering foods such as gyros, moussaka, tiropita, souvlaki and spanakopita will be served up, along with sweet desserts such as melomakarona, galaktoboureko, kourabiedes, koulourakia, baklava and loukoumades, a fried dough pastry favorite.
Guided tours of the church will be available throughout the day, and vendors will be offering Greek art, jewelry, souvenirs, icons and much more.
One of the main attractions at the festival is the over-the-top sweepstakes that the church holds. This year 315 prizes will be awarded from cars — a 2017 Mercedes Benz GLC 300 W4 is first prize — to a Bose Home Theater system; cash prizes; Xbox One; Mets, Giants and Yankees tickets; a 15-inch laptop; gift cards; and much more. Tickets for the sweepstakes are $100 each, limited to 4,999 tickets — meaning that one out of 16 will win a prize. The drawing will be held on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.
The festival will take place on Thursday, Aug. 24 from 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 25 from 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 26 from 1 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 27 from 1 to 10 p.m. Fireworks will be held on Friday and Saturday nights. Free shuttle buses will pick up attendees on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only from Ward Melville High School, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School’s teacher’s parking lot, the Port Jefferson Ferry and the Long Island Rail Road station to transport them to festival, making parking at this popular event a breeze. Admission to the festival is $2 per person, children under 12 free.
The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption is located at 430 Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jefferson. For more information, call the church office at 631-473-0894 or visit www.portjeffgreekfest.com.