Sarnia’s Greekfest attracts crowds for a lot of reasons – the food, the music, the ouzo.
But something else keeps them coming back to the tents erected in the St. Demetrios Church parking lot each year, says co-ordinator Ann Stirling.
“You get a warm feeling there because the people themselves are very welcoming. And, of course, you can’t help but get up and dance.”
The festival of all things Greek is a three-day affair that begins with a ticketed concert Friday, Sept. 12. Pavlo and his Mediterranean Quartet are a twice Juno-nominated outfit with nine albums and a PBS concert special under their belt.
The weekend’s biggest draw is the Greek cuisine like souvlaki and tiropita in the “Kouzina,” as well as baklava and other sweets in the “Kafenio” tent.
“People go crazy for the desserts. You should go early if you’re going to have dessert because they sell out quickly,” Stirling said.
The “Oneiro” band from Detroit will play traditional and modern music through the day and evening, along with two Greek dance companies.
There’s a “Kid-lympics” area where youth can play Olympic-like sports weekend afternoons and wins medals.
This year features an expanded multicultural Sunday afternoon with drummers and dancers in full dress from Aamjiwnaang, Korean drumming, and Celtic and East Indian dancers.
“There’s a pride in our community about intercultural understanding,” Stirling said. “We’re building bridges and a broader understanding of what we each provide to our culture.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: 8th annual Sarnia Greekfest
WHERE: St. Demetrios Church, 1299 Murphy Rd.
WHEN: Sept. 12-14, Saturday, noon to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
COST: $2, at door. Children under 12 free
OTHER: Pavlo concert Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $30 advance, $40 at door, includes sample plate starting at 6 p.m.
For more, call 519-491-6615