The annual celebration of Greek culture brings people together


Taisiia Yakovenko

Organizers make sure that visitors can come back to the festival and continue enjoying all that they have to offer.

Taisiia Yakovenko, Staff Writer

Church of the Holy Cross invited families to enjoy food, drama, dancing, music, and shops on the 48th Greek Festival.

The annual festival in Belmont marked yet another celebration of Greek culture and traditions that allow families across the Bay Area to experience and enjoy it first hand.

Anastacia Stamates, a president of the Parish Council, said, “We have been organizing this event to bring members of the church and others in the community together to celebrate Greek culture. I grew up going to the festival and doing whatever I was asked to do so I was always running around helping with it.”

The festival brings many people together often being more of a social gathering that focuses on family values rather than a religious one.

Visitor Mary Christenson said, “We have been coming to this festival for the past 40 years. We really enjoy the food and the music here,” said Mary Chrsitenson, a visitor of the Greek Festival.


In addition to being a family event, the festival allows local artisans and musicians to connect with their community and celebrate Greek culture.

“The music really does reflect the culture,” said Evan Velouois, a member of the band Mythos. “For example, music was somewhat lyrical and slow during the 1920’s which accurately reflected the post-World War I period.”

Hospitality is one of the main parts of Greek culture that is clearly reflected throughout the duration of the whole festival.

“The words for stranger and guest are the same in the Greek language,” said Evan Economos, a Greek Deli Manager. “No wonder that hospitality is such a huge part of the Greek culture.”

In order to further dive into the traditional values, the festival hosts multiple plays that are based on the Greek mythology.

“The festival has food, music, dancing, plays, and shops,” Christeson said. “The shops that are inside the church sell various antique items that are often related to mythology.”

In addition to all the entertainment at the festival, the visitors get to enjoy the food that is usually prepared by their local community members.

“I have cooked some food for the festival myself in the past, but this year we ordered the majority of it from Greek home cooks,” Economos said. “We offer taramasalata, baklava, and some other timeless Greek dishes.”

The event has gained a lot of attention from the members of the community with its food, entertainment, and shops. The festival became a place for all, Greeks and non-Greeks, to come together to celebrate Greek culture and help to support the church.

According to Stamates, “The festival allows us to show off our Greek culture that has been brought from Greece or passed down from generation to generation.”