Greek Fest returns to Kitchener for its 41st year
A celebration of Greek culture is taking place in Kitchener this weekend, highlighting the country’s food, music and dancing.
The 41st annual Greek Food Festival returned to Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church for a two-day event.
“We started preparation back in February,” said festival organizer Dimitrios Mitskos. “It’s an event that over 100 volunteers are helping out with. The ladies are cooking for several days and weeks and we’re expecting several thousand to really share our food and traditions over the next 48 hours.”
Attendees have a traditional selection of food to choose from, including souvlaki, gyro, lamb and Greek salad. There are also many desserts to try.
“Everything here that our guests are actually buying to eat is homemade. Nothing is prepared outside so our ladies are really cooking everything in-house here from scratch,” explained Mitskos.
There was also cultural entertainment for people to enjoy.
“We have our Olympic brothers from Toronto, a live group that is performing for us today and tomorrow. This afternoon and tomorrow we have also our dance groups, which is four different age groups that are performing live for us.”
With a large Greek population within Waterloo region, Mitskos said this event greatly helps the community.
“There’s a big Greek Cypriot community actually in Kitchener-Waterloo, with I would say about 12,000 to 15,000 people here. It’s our annual event. It’s actually our biggest fundraiser for our Greek community here and we’re really counting on everyone to come visit us and just spend the weekend with us.”
There is a $2 entrance fee but bringing a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region will also get you in. Children under the age of 12 get in for free.
“We’ve got involved with the Kitchener hospitals where we’re donating also for cancer treatment departments. Wherever we can help in the community, we love to give back,” Mitskos said.
The Greek Food Festival runs until 10 p.m. on Saturday, picking back up at noon on Sunday until 8 p.m.