One of Columbia’s best-loved annual events, the Greek Festival, wraps up Sunday.
The festival is in its 30th year at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Sumter Street.
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It will be a crowd on this final day, so here are some tips for maneuvering downtown this weekend.
SCOUT IT OUT: Wander through the venue before you buy. The festival has grown over the years and this year will have close to 30 vendors outside selling everything from jewelry and clothing to handmade art and ceramics. Inside, the Holy Trinity Gift Shop will have t-shirts, icons and more. The Grocery Store will sell Greek delicacies such as olives, cheeses, breads and spices.
GO LIGHT: The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 80s, so plan accordingly.
EAT! The indoor lunch menu includes one-half broiled chicken or keftedes (Greek-style meatballs with egg and lemon sauce), both served with with manestra (Greek orzo), spanakopeta, greek salad and bread. Look out for specials, too.
If you’re looking for sweets, in addition to the traditional pastries – baklava, kataifi (chopped nuts wrapped in shredded dough and drizzled with honey), koulourakia (buttery shortbread cookies) – you will find a variety of cheesecakes, baklava brownies, and koks (sponge cakes filled with flavored creams and covered with nuts and glazes).
GET MOVING: There is a lot more to the Greek Festival than food. Take a self-guided tour of the cathedral and marvel at the hand-painted murals and icons. Immerse yourself in Greek culture with hourly video presentations and discussions of history, heritage and modern Greece in the main building’s cultural exhibit. Meet the warriors of Greece as the Ancient Greek Hoplite Warriors re-enact the life of Spartans and other Greek troops of the fifth century B.C. Or dance the night away with the Nick Trivelas Band and the Aegean Duo.
If you go
Columbia’s 30th Annual Greek Festival
WHERE: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1931 Sumter St.
WHEN: Noon-8 p.m. Sunday