Tampa’s Greek Festival celebrates a vibrant culture
November 17, 2012 by James
On November 10 and 11, 2012, there was dancing in the streets in South Tampa, as thousands of people gathered at St. John Greek Orthodox Church for the annual Tampa Greek Festival. Festival attendees had the opportunity to feast on authentic Mediterranean food including rich desserts, visit a Greek coffee bar known as a kafenion, listen to live music, and watch Greek dancers perform. The dancers were costumed in traditional Greek attire, adding flashes of color to the proceedings.
On Saturday, November 10, the festival hours were 11:00 am to midnight, encouraging visitors young and old to dance in the streets until the wee hours. Music was provided by John Demas and the Omega Project, who played and sang traditional melodies. Sunday’s hours were 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
In addition to music, dancing and food, festival visitors could enjoy tours of the church, which is famous for its stained glass windows and the icons which cover nearly every inch of the walls. They could also shop for Greek items and order food to go, while children had fun in a designated play area.
Festival organizers also raffled off a vacation package worth $2,500, with travel provided by Globus – world-renowned for its travel expertise.
The admission fee was a mere $2 at the door, with children under 12, military personnel, and their families getting in free. The money raised went to LifePath Hospice.
The festival reflects the fact that Tampa and Tarpon Springs are home to a large population of Greeks and people of Greek ancestry.