Members of the Assumption Cultural Center in St. Clair Shores is inviting everyone to come out and get their Greek on during its annual GreekFest Aug.17 – 20.
The blend of authentic Greek food, entertainment and culture is the perfect summertime event for the entire family.
The event typically draws more than 10,000 people from throughout the metro Detroit area.
“GreekFest is a wonderful event that our entire community looks forward to annually,” said GreekFest co-chair Tom Thomas. “Over 250 volunteers from Assumption and the community really enjoy serving the thousands of people who visit us each year.”
Festival-goers will enjoy live entertainment, Greek dancing, exciting marketplace shopping, church tours, a special exhibit in the Hellenic Room, kids tent and games, Greek pastries, Taverna, surprise celebrities and much more.
The grand opening ceremony takes place on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m.
Rotating bands of Greek Music will perform throughout the weekend. Popular acts include the Assumption dance groups, including the Hellenic Society for the Performing Arts, with costumes and dances from the regions of Greece. This year’s GreekFest will have a multicultural flair with Irish, Ukrainian and Polish dancers who will perform the dances of their cultures.
Those who are so inspired will be able to learn Greek dances from the Assumption Dancers who will be on hand to teach all of the steps.
There will be plenty of Greek cuisine to sample including kabobs, spinach pie, lamb shanks, stuffed grape leaves, pastitsio, flaming cheese, Greek salad, and gyros. Dessert choices include several homemade pastries including Baklava, custard rolls, Greek breads and cookies, and Loukoumades (honey balls).
A Taverna also is available for adults ages 21 years and older.
Activities for children include a giant slide, magicians, puppet shows, jugglers, stilt walkers, face painting and balloon sculptors.
For those in the mood for shopping, the indoor marketplace with vendors from both the United States and Greece will offer an array of handmade crafts, jewelry, paintings, home accessories, clothing and many other unique items.
A highlight of GreekFest this year are tours of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church and the history and development of iconography. Tours will be given daily. An International Cultural Exhibit will take place in Assumption’s Hellenic Room with displays of various costumes and artifacts from Greece, Ukraine, Ireland and Poland.
“We have something for everyone, it is truly a family event,” said festival co-chair Nick Moschouris. “We hope everyone comes out to experience traditional Greek culture with a community spirit.”
There will be a daily 50-50 drawing and raffle tickets can be purchased at assumptionfestival.com or at the Cultural Center office for $10 with a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize; the second prize of a Meira T Gold diamond necklace donated by Ahee Jewelers ($3,170 value); a $500 third prize; or one of three $200 prizes. The grand raffle drawing will be held at 6 p.m., Aug. 20.
Tickets for GreekFest are $3; children under 12 are admitted free. GreekFest hours are: Thursday, Aug. 17, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 18, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free parking and shuttle service is available; valet service is offered as well.
There will be a drive-thru carryout station available from 4-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call ahead at 586-596-6326 or 586-779-8071. View the GreekFest menu or order online at the festival website.
A portion of proceeds from the Festival will benefit community programs: Cops for Kids, Focus Detroit, and Cass Community Social Services.
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church is located at 21800 Marter Rd., in the communities of St. Clair Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods. For information, call 586-779-6111 or visit the festival website.