This Memorial Day Weekend, head to the bayou for this family-friendly event featuring delicious Greek food, traditional live music activities, and more! This year’s Greek Fest is extra special as it honors New Orleans’ Tricentennial.
New Orleans was founded by the French and governed for 40 years by the Spanish. Large numbers of people of other descents settled here as well: German, Italian, Irish, African, Caribbean, and more. But the city also has a sizable population of Greek people, and every year members of the Greek community along with many others celebrate Greek heritage and all things pan-Hellenic.
Festival goers can expect a full weekend of Hellenic dance performances, cooking demonstrations, Cathedral tours, and even a toga contest!
The festival runs from May 25 - 27, with specific times available soon at greekfestnola.com.
Souvlaki, baklava, dolma (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie), and gyro sandwiches (pita bread pockets stuffed with lamb, pork and zesty sauce) and other Greek specialties will all be served up.
Expect traditional Greek music, especially the distinctive sounds of thebouzoukiguitar, as well as Hellenic dancers in colorful native costumes.
There will be entertainment for all ages, from kids’ activities to fun things for the adults to do, like dancing or renting a canoe on Bayou St. John. Lucky winners of random drawings may win trips to Greece and the fabled Grecian isles of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Those who wish to take something Greek home with them can purchase the latest festival poster or other handcrafted souvenirs.
The cathedral houses what is reported to be the first and oldest Greek Orthodox congregation in the United States, founded in 1866. Visitors may tour the ornate structure with its magnificent, Byzantine-style dome. Frescoes and stained glass windows in the distinctive Eastern Orthodox artistic style greet the eye in every direction one looks.
Entrance to the festival is $7 -- children under 12 are admitted free.
Location and Parking
You’ll find Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral adjacent to Bayou St. John on Robert E. Lee Boulevard. Free off-site parking and shuttle service will be available. Be sure to check the festival’s website for parking details to avoid construction in nearby areas.