St. Demetrios Greek Festival
This article authored by: Catherine Hallberg
Last weekend marked the 37th celebration of the Greek Festival held by the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church at 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road in Tucson.
Rob & I usually attend together, but this year I went with my Red Hat sisters which made for a more festive experience. They are a fun group and know how to have a good time. The Greek Festival is a very popular event, so the main parking lot fills up rapidly. Fortunately, they’ve started a shuttle service from nearby Amphi Parking Lot plus one at Sacred Heart Church and Salpointe Catholic HS & Stadium. Even so it’s best to arrive early as by 6pm the place is packed and the cafeteria style lines are long.
To their credit, everything is well-organized and flows along without major waits. Traditional Greek food, such as Gyros, Spanakopita, Souvlaki, Dolmathes and Calamari are served by church members as well as Baklavas , Ouzo Cake and Kourambiedes. Of course there’s Greek Beer, Retsina or white wine plus an assortment of American beers and soft drinks.
In addition, you’ll find jewelry and craft booths for browsing plus a band playing Greek music. Everyone is invited to come up and dance, and as the evening wears on, more and more dancers appear. You can also attend Greek dancing classes, cooking demonstrations and lectures which continue throughout the weekend.
The church offers tours of their beautiful sanctuary for those who would like to learn more about the Greek Orthodox religion. In fact the festival is based on the “Hospitality of Abraham and Sarah” which depicts 3 angels sitting at a table. Abraham and Sarah are serving them food not knowing they are angels. Through the offering of hospitality they are allowed into communion with the Godhead. This festival is the church’s way of showing hospitality to everyone, not knowing if there may be angels among us. It’s a way to bring an ancient faith to a modern world.
Father Earl Cantos does a marvelous job of pulling all this together. I highly recommend this event to Tucson visitors or long-time residents. It is held every September for four days. Admission is a mere $3.00 for adults and free to children under 12 years of age. Food, of course, is extra. Where else can you spend an afternoon with great entertainment, food and festivity at such a low price! If you missed it this year, plan on attending in 2016. I’ll be there for sure!!
Rob and Catherine Hallberg are Associate Brokers with Long Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Affiliate and Southern Arizona’s largest Brokerage. Since 2008, they have been ranked in the top 5% to 8% of all U.S. REALTORS®. Send Rob and Catherine an email for a fast response to your questions; for an even faster response, Call (520) 407-8667.