Greek food, music and dance come to Cardiff for annual festival

The annual Cardiff Greek Festival returns on September 10 and 11 for the 42nd year at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

The church campus will be recreated in a Greek village filled with food, music and dance from Greece. The Olympians, a Greek group from Southern California, will serenade attendees, and parish youth, ages 5 to 18, will perform Greek folk dances in traditional costume. Dance lessons will be offered and participants will be able to participate in the “Opa”.

Greek specialties will be sold, ranging from Greek roast lamb shanks, lemon chicken, gyros and souvlaki (shish-kebobs) to pastitsio (baked layers of macaroni, seasoned meat, cheese and bechamel sauce) and loukaniko (sausage).

Vegetarian cuisine will include spanakopita (spinach pie), tiropitas (filo cheese triangles), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), feta fries and Greek salad. Frappes and baklava sundaes will also be offered. The Kafenio will sell specialty Greek desserts and coffee. Michael Pavlidis of Boukali Wines will give classes and tastings of imported Greek wines.

The market will include a traditional bazaar with Greek imports, pottery, fine jewelry, artwork and a Greek delicatessen. There will also be a Kids Fun Zone with a variety of inflatables.

Tours of the church, known in the community for its gold dome that reflects a cross with sunlight or a full moon, will be led by Reverend Michael Sitaras, pastor of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. . Sitaras will discuss the mosaics, iconography and Byzantine architecture of the church.

“What many visitors don’t realize is that our golden dome is just as magnificent inside as it is outside,” Sitaras said.

“Our parish carries the rich history and traditions of Greece deeply in our hearts, and we are delighted to once again share our Philotimo with the community at large through the festival,” Sitaras said. “Derived from filos meaning friend and timi meaning honor, Philotimo is the love and good that motivates us to share ourselves with others.”

The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on September 10 and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on September 11 at 3459 Manchester Ave. in Cardiff. Admission is $3; free for children under 12, active military, police and firefighters with ID.

Opportunity raffle tickets will be priced at $100 each for a chance to win $20,000 cash and two Padres season passes. Tickets can be purchased at [email protected] and at the festival.

Free parking will be available at the nearby San Elijo campus of MiraCosta College.

For more information visit cardiffgreekfest.com.

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