If your ancestors hail from ancient Greece, with all of its mystery and rich cultural traditions, or if you just enjoy learning about other civilizations and sampling new cuisine, check out the Indianapolis Greek Festival, usually held in September, in downtown Indy. The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Indianapolis hosts the festival each year the Friday and Saturday following Labor Day. The 37th annual event promises to be as exciting as years past, with traditional Greek dance and music providing a buoyant backdrop for the vendors’ elaborate cooking demonstrations and plentiful array of food.
Whether you’re in the mood for something sizzling and spicy or something decadent and sweet, bring your appetite! Among the many hot delicacies offered at the festival are Souvlaki, or pork and chicken kebabs; roasted lamb over an open flame; and the traditional Gyro. Pair Greek fries, potatoes fried lightly then sprinkled with a blend of seasonings and lemon juice, with any of the above meats. And for any cheese lovers, the Saganaki-flaming Kasseri cheese-is a must-try, as is the Spanakopita, spinach and feta cheese melted inside a filo triangle (makes a hearty pastry). If you’re not too full, top off your meal with Loukoumades, deep-fried delicacies dipped in honey, or Koulourakia, rich butter cookies topped with a light sprinkling of sesame seeds. And of course, there is an array of traditional Greek red and white wines to sample, as well as Keo beer bottled in Cyprus.
When it’s time to give your belly a rest, settle in for some light-hearted entertainment including the Holy Trinity Hellenic Dance Troupes, made up of local elementary and middle school children, as well as more skilled high school students. In addition, don’t miss the music from the Greek Company Orchestra. Hailed by many as one of America’s best Greek orchestras, this group of five men from Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio combine a wide variety of Hellenic music styles, weaving bubbly dance music with the soothing strains of clarinet and violin, which embody the soul of ancient Greek entertainment.
Top off your day of cultural enlightening with a visit to the bookstore kiosk in the Cultural Center at the Greek Orthodox Church. Learn more about the religion and receive information about upcoming tours of the new temple. Take home a brochure and start brushing up on your knowledge of all things Greek for next year!
Indy Greek Fest website: http://www.indygreekfest.org/