Opa! Spend your Memorial Day Weekend at the New Orleans Greek Festival. The 46th annual festival will take place May 23-May 26, 2019 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral by its congregation, located at 1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
The 2019 theme is Mastika, a unique liqueur seasoned with mastic, a Grecian specialty.
The sounds of Greek music fill the air, as does the wonderful aroma of Greek food during this three-day indoor and outdoor fete. There is dancing and feasting, and of course ouzo – sold by the bottle or the shot at the quaint taverna set up at the festival. There are also Greek wines to sample along with iced Greek coffee. There are kids activities and fabulous, colorful arts and crafts for sale.
There is entertainment for all ages, from an Athenian playground set up outside with face painting and crafts, to fun things for the adults to do, including cooking demonstrations and canoe rentals to take out on Bayou St. John. There is a toga contest (of course!) on Sunday – all entrants get in free. Some lucky winners could win a trip to Greece, and those who wish to bring something home can purchase the festival poster, other souvenirs, food, and cookbooks.
There are tons of food options, including souvlaki, baklava, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie), and gyro sandwiches (pita bread pockets stuffed with lamb, pork and zesty sauce). An ad hoc Greek pastry is shop set up with more 20 traditional homemade Greek pastries, including baklava, galaktoboureko, kourabiedes, cakes and cookies, all available to take home and savor.
In the Cultural Center, near the Greek Grocery
Saturday — 1:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m.; 7:00 p.m.
Sunday — 1:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m.
There is also music for Greek fans, especially the distinctive sounds of the bouzouki guitar, with Hellenic dancers in colorful native costumes sway to the driving rhythms. There is a dance floor set up as everyone is encouraged to try some steps in this very friendly atmosphere.
Hellenic Dancers, Inside Stage
Friday — 6:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
Saturday — 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m.
Sunday — 1:30 p.m.
Hellenic Dancers, Outdoor
Friday — 6:30 p.m.
Saturday — 5:00 p.m.
Little Dancers, Inside Stage
Sunday — 4:00 p.m.
Thursday Soft Kickoff
Thursday, May 23rd will kick off the festivities from 5pm to 9pm. A smaller selection of food, drink and grocery items will be available. Tickets for the soft opening are $5 and only available at the gate. Thursday is cash only and no live entertainment will be present.
Tours begin at the Cathedral side entrance. The cathedral has the first and older Greek Orthodox congregation in the nation, which opening in 1866. Visitors can look at the beautiful structure, including its magnificent, Byzantine-style dome. There are also frescoes and stained glass windows in the classic Eastern Orthodox artistic style.