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Looking for a great weekend of fun now that spring is here? There’s no better way to spend a few hours, the whole of the day, or even an entire weekend than by getting your “OPA!” on and jetting off to Greece—without having to leave sunny southern California.
Mid-Mayis the start of Greek Festival Season in the Southland. Pascha (Easter) is celebrated later in the spring for Orthodox Christians this year (May 5th is not merely Cinco de Mayo in SoCal, but in 2013 it’s the holiest day of the calendar for Orthodox Christians: the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord). With Greek festivals beginning so quickly after the conclusion of Great Lent, you can be sure that there will be even bigger smiles and more joy at the beginning of Greek Festival Season.
OC Greek Fest, Anaheim www.ocgreekfest.com
It all starts in Anaheim, at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church’s Greek Festival is held on the church grounds at 405 N. Dale Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801, ready for the thousands of festivalgoers who arrive each year ready for a great time. This parish is the elder statesman in the OC and it shows in the thoughtful care and planning that goes into their festival each year. Park for free at the Buena Park Mall just north of the church and take the free shuttle located once again behind Wal-Mart. Free parking, free shuttle, and with some planning there’s even free admission. With costumed dancers performing traditional Greek folk dances for the crowd at no charge and complimentary tours of the beautiful Greek Orthodox church, a visit to OC Greek Fest is a great date, group activity, or family event.
Valley Greek Festival, Northridge www.valleygreekfestival.com
Each Memorial Day Weekend finds St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Northridge presenting their Valley Greek Festival. At the end of May St. Nicholas will be hosting their 40th Greek Festival on the church grounds at 9501 Balboa Blvd.
St George Greek Festival, Downey stgeorgedowney.org
Downey’s St. George Greek Orthodox Church holds their Greek Festival on the church grounds at 10830 Downey Ave. in early June.
St. Paul’s Greek Festival, Irvine www.irvinegreekfest.com
St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine will be presenting their 35th Annual Greek Festival, A Taste of Greece, in mid June on their church grounds at 4949 Alton Pkwy.
South Bay Greek Festival, Redondo Beach www.sbgreekfestival.com
St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Redondo Beach hosts their South Bay Greek Festival in mid July on the church grounds at 722 Knob Hill Ave. in Redondo Beach.
Greek Festival by the Sea, Long Beach www.lbgreekfest.org
AV Greek Festival, Lancaster www.avgreekfestival.com
Labor Day Weekend finds 2 Greek Festivals to enjoy: Long Beach’s Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church hosting their Greek Festival by the Sea on their church grounds at 5761 E. Colorado St. AND St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Lancaster hosting their Greek Festival, the AV Greek Festival, on their church grounds at 46404 30th St. West
LA Greek Fest, Los Angeles www.lagreekfest.com
St Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles typically hosts their LA Greek Fest in September on the Cathedral grounds at 1324 S. Normandie Ave. in Los Angeles.
Pasadena Greek Fest, Arcadia www.pasadenagreekfest.org
St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in Pasadena hosts their festival in mid September, at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia.
St. Nectarios Greek Festival, Covina www.saintnectarios.org
Covina’s St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church has historically presented their festival in September on their church grounds at 20340 Covina Blvd. in Covina.
Temecula Greek Festival, Temecula www.temeculagreekfest.com
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Temecula Valley will be hosting their festival in mid October at Old Town Temecula Civic Center, 41000 Main Street in Old Town Temecula. Free parking at Old Town Garage 28690 Mercedes Street, Temecula, CA 92590
Whether you attend one, two, or all ten of these Greek Festivals, you’ll have a splendid time. Enjoying delicious Greek food, listening to melodious Greek music, and dancing with joy are some of the wonderful experiences to enjoy at a SoCal Greek Festival. OPA!