(Wilmington, North Carolina, United States) – This past weekend, the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington, North Carolina held its 24th Annual Greek festival and organizers say that they experienced their best year since the festival’s inception. Each year, members of the Saint Nicholas parish spend months preparing for the event. Their goal is to share the Greek culture with the people in the area through food, music, dancing, and even shopping. Attendees could also visit the church and even take a tour. Over the course of the three days that the festival was going on, the activities schedule was packed with events, such as dancing demonstrations, that were designed to bring people together to enjoy all things Greek, including the food.
Menu items included spanakopita, lamb, dolmathes, and loukamathes. The food, in particular, is always a big hit. Although people do enjoy the other events, it’s really the food that has them coming back each year, and sometimes multiple times in the weekend. However, the festival is about more than just showing people how the Greeks have a good time. It also gives people a chance to see how important Orthodoxy is to the Greek people. Since it is a big part of the Greek culture, it is nice to give people a chance to see the church and learn a little bit about the Orthodox faith.
Each year, the parishioners organize their collective resources to make the event a success. Aside from giving people a chance to enjoy great food and celebrate the Greek culture, the parish does benefit from the festival. Proceeds from the festival also benefit the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church. It costs money to run a church, and even though churches do encourage their members to contribute enough to fund the daily operations, events like the festival help the church meet their expenses considerably. This is the church’s chance to encourage volunteerism in the congregation. People all over the surrounding area visit this festival, including people who attend the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, Greeks in other nearby communities, and also non-Greeks. The festival is about coming together and enjoying the Greek life.