Laila Morcos Zissis
NEW ORLEANS (May 11, 2017) - One of the greatest things about the New Orleans Greek Festival is sipping beverages and eating delicious, traditional Greek fare on the banks of Bayou St. John. This year, festival-goers can enjoy an additional dish to their experience, along with a new Dionysian Delight Wine Spritzer. Organizers are adding meze to the menu - "Greek Tapas," which will include tzatziki, chickpea salad, dolmades and pita bread. Also new this year - the Weekend Blue Pass for guests who spend all weekend at the festival. Plus, join legendary New Orleans artist Simon Hardeveld as he discusses his latest work of art - the 2017 Greek Festival poster "It's Greek to Me!"
In its 44th year, the festival continues to be a family favorite at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on the banks of Bayou St. John every Memorial Day Weekend! The fun kicks off Friday, May 26 with the annual Greek Festival 5K Run/Walk.
Meze has been enjoyed in Greece and other Mediterranean countries since antiquity and is not to be served alone. Meze is paired with wine, ouzo, or another drink to provide the ultimate accompaniment to any social gathering that includes lots of conversation and laughter - what the Greek Festival is known for! Since it is new this year, the wine used in the Dionysian Delight and all the staples of the meze dish can be found in the Greek Grocery, along with all the other delicious cheeses, olives, breads and more. Don't forget oils, soaps, herbs and spices are available as well.
"We know one of the main reasons people come to the Festival is to enjoy delicious food and drink right on Bayou St. John. We feel like meze is a fantastic addition and a way to introduce our version of tapas - Greek-style!" says Executive Director Ginny Zissis.
Year-to-year, hundreds of Holy Trinity volunteers spend thousands of man hours preparing traditional Greek Festival favorites, including sweet pastries the famous Baklava Sunday, authentic Greek dinners, calamari dishes, gyros and souvlaki plates, and lamb. "We are so lucky and proud to have our community and our generous volunteers step up to the plate, literally, to hand-make most of our dishes," Zissis says.
The Hellenic Dancers also spend the whole year training for the live performances. This year, the festival welcomes The Levendes band from the Twin Cities of St. Paul/Minneapolis that will be playing on the Bayou throughout the festival! Tour the beautiful Cathedral while the kids play in the Athenian Playground. And get all your Hellenic jewelry and clothing shopping done with Greek vendors from across the nation.