We just came back from our annual visit to the Grand Rapids Yassou Greek Cultural Festival. We’ve gone for the past three years, and it just keeps growing in numbers and in activities. When our Greek language instructor invited us to his church for a visit, we experienced such warm Greek hospitality that truly embodied their culture. Because of our teacher and the church’s hospitality, we make it a point to visit the Greek fest to experience Greek culture in our hometown.
Of course, our boys know the drill. We stop by the kids corner first. Three years ago, they only had one inflatable play space. Last year, they added a second inflatable space; and this year, they have an inflatable space along with plenty of mini booths much like the ones seen at the Indiana State Fair. Except here, everyone is a winner.
Face painting is a popular booth amongst kids, and Piano Man really soaks in Greek culture by having his face painted with Olympics rings (last year) and a Greek flag (this year). Linus stuck to the more traditional route and choose to have a shark painted on his arm.
Traditional Greek Dance
Whenever we hear traditional Greek music, our ears perk up. Linus used to cringe during the dance; but this year, he sat attentively, watched and clapped with everyone else in the crowd.
Food lines were getting pretty long by 5:30, and we were lucky to devour souvlaki, lemon roasted chicken, and traditional cucumber and tomato salad. Mmmmmm! These familiar foods reminded us of Cyprus.
Desserts are another popular crowd pleasure with their traditional homemade desserts, such as baklava and iced frappe.
We saw an old friend who made three different dessert from scratch for this event! She worked tirelessly all weekend to bring a piece of Greek culture to the community. Her food is always delicious and homemade! You can’t get any closer to Greek culture than eating food from a wonderful Greek mother. That’s love.
This year, we tried Loukamades, a doughnut fried pastry dipped in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. You know how fried food can be so bad for you but tasted soooo good. They were gone in seconds.
Thanks to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for hosting a wonderful cultural event every year. They advertised in the newspaper, and on the radio, which a greater number of Grand Rapidians turned out for this year’s events. If you’re in town, the Greek festival ends today! You still have time to visit and experience the beauty and charm of Greek culture in Grand Rapids.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s festival!
From my hometown to yours,