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Port Jefferson Greek Festival

The festival will have lots of carnival rides and games for families to enjoy. File photo by Bob Savage

By Sabrina Petroski

Souvlaki, gyros, baklava, oh my! Is your mouth watering yet? Try all of these dishes and more as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson celebrates its 57th annual Port Jefferson Greek Festival from Aug 23 through 26. This year’s event will feature carnival rides, traditional dance performances, live music, games and culinary delights. 

Come for the delicious food and stay for the dancing!

Authentic Greek dishes 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.

According to Marisa Raptis, the president of the Parish Council, members of the church will be making the food on sight and fresh to order. Popcorn, cotton candy and pretzels will also be available. 

Guided tours of the church will be available throughout the day, and over 30 vendors will be scattered around the church grounds selling jewelry, home                                                                                           goods, clothes, beauty products, candles and other handmade items. 

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 including cars — a 2018 Mercedes Benz GLC 300 4Matic is first prize — an Alexa Smart Device, a Bose Home Theater, an iPod Touch, a Nespresso Mini, cash prizes 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. 26 at 7 p.m.

The festival will have lots of carnival rides and games for families to enjoy. File photo by Giselle Barkley

In addition, there will also be live performances throughout the weekend for guests to enjoy. The Hellenic Dance Troupe will be performing on Saturday as well as the church’s Youth Dance Troupe, showing off the traditional Greek style of dance. A five-piece band will take the stage Friday through Sunday with tunes that will make you want to get up out of your seat, and a DJed fireworks show will turn heads on Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting. 

“People should come because we are one of the largest Greek festivals on Long Island,” said Raptis in a recent email. “Where else can you go on a Friday night and eat dinner under the stars while listening to live music and watching fireworks?,” adding, “I am most excited about being with my Greek community for four days as we show our love for our culture to everyone with music, food and dancing!”

The festival will take place, rain or shine, from 5 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 23, 5 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 24, 1 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 25 and 1 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 26. Tickets are $2 per person, and children under 12 can attend for free. A shuttle service will be available from Ward Melville High School to the church. Raffle tickets may be purchased online at www.portjeffgreekfest.com. 

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption is located at 430 Sheep Pasture Road, Port Jefferson. For more information, call the church office at 631-473-0894.

A scene from last year's festival. Photo by Giselle Barkley
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.

The festival will feature carnival rides. File photo by Erika Karp

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.

A scene from last year’s festival. Photo by Giselle Barkley

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.

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