Milena Mata | Contributor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of WKRG.com
Food. Music. Dance. All good ingredients that make for a pleasant festival. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church hosted Greek Fest from Oct. 13 to Oct. 16 to celebrate Greek culture. This marks the first year it was completely in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four-day celebration allowed the visitors plenty of time to stop by and enjoy the festivities at their leisure. Despite the highly-anticipated Alabama vs. Tennessee college football game, large numbers of people showed up on Saturday afternoon.
The menu included various options with Greek food served indoors and outdoors. Some food items were even available through a curb-side service, something that the festival had to resort to in 2021 due to the pandemic. The menu included classic favorites such as gyros, souvlaki, and Greek fries. Chefs cooked and assembled the food on the spot as people ordered. The lines were long but moved quickly with the help of volunteers. The bakery, arguably the most popular section, usually had the longest line. There were several pastries for sale like baklava. The loukoumades, fried dough puffs served with hot honey and some cinnamon, were particularly delicious.
Food was not the only thing visitors could enjoy from the experience. Some local vendors were present to sell items such as jewelry, clothing, kitchen essentials, and handmade soap. Visitors were also able to go inside the church and attend the mass service.
The main event happened in the large dining tent outside filled with tables for plenty of room. It was decorated with lights, giving the venue a cozy environment for the overall event. It also had a stage in the middle with a live performer playing the bouzouki, a Greek string instrument. This prompted a few to dance on stage. Several children also had a moment of fun as they jumped and played excitedly on the stage laughing.
More people settled in around the late afternoon just in time for the dance performances at 6:00 pm. Students of different age groups dressed in traditional clothing danced which involved hand-holding and circular formations. The crowd showed their support with applause after each dance. One of the cooks even tossed them money which is a custom that shows their enthusiasm. The performances were symbolic of the preservation of Greek culture.
Different cultures form what Mobile is today, and it is always pleasant to witness communities interact and highlight their roots. The Greek Fest is just one event that showcases this unity. The Greek Fest is a great way to immerse yourself in another culture, spend time with loved ones or just eat good food.