Las Vegas Greek Festival to showcase culture, crafts and food

For three days only, discovering Greece won’t require a costly trip around the globe.

The annual Las Vegas Greek Festival is scheduled Friday through Sunday at the St. John Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 S. El Camino Road.

"It’s to showcase our Greek rich culture and history to our community," said Darrick Cole, parish council treasurer. "It’s fun. The energy is great."

The festival will highlight Greek life through music, costume, dances, crafts and ­– of course — food.

THE FOOD

The bar will offer Greek beer and wine to complement the menu of gyros, souvlaki sandwiches with Tzatkiki sauce, pastries and other traditional platters.

"A lot of people just come so they can get the food once a year," Cole said. "It’s usually hard to get in town. It’s convenient that everything is in one place."

THE ARTS

A taste of Greece will also come with the return of Greek band The Olympians. The group performed at the festival every year for a decade before slipping out of the festival’s spotlight.

"We haven’t had them in many years," parish council president Stiros Filios said. "It will be nice to have that little tradition back."

Other performers will don traditional and contemporary orthodox costumes, adding extra Greek flair to the party.

A bazaar market will sell jewelry and other handmade crafts from Greece or items made by Greeks, the organizers said.

THE CHARITY

The festival is the St. John Orthodox Church’s largest fundraiser of the year, bringing in money for its several ministries, which include a Greek school for children and adults, sports and dance programs and senior groups.

Outside its own organization, some of the proceeds will be donated to Disabled Veterans of America, organizers said. After the event, the parish council will discuss which areas of the Las Vegas community are in need and pick a local charity to also help.

WHERE TO PARK

The event is expected to see 25,000 people throughout its three-day run, making it one of the largest festivals in Clark County.

Free parking will be available along Hacienda Avenue and at the Spring Valley Hospital, 5400 S. Rainbow Blvd. A complimentary shuttle service will take people between the hospital and church throughout and after the event.

"It’s a secure, well-lit friendly environment," Filios said. "It’s for the whole family."

WHEN TO GO

The festival runs from 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $6 for adults and free for children 12 or under, military members and their immediate families.

Text "Greek fest" to 90210 for updates and discounts at the event.

For more information, call 221-8245 or visit lasvegasgreekfestival.com.

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