No one knows how to celebrate quite like the Greeks. Festivals were an important part of life in ancient Greece with celebrations centered around worship of the Greek gods. Today, Greek festivals are hosted by members of Greek communities in many cities throughout the world. Spirited, joyous affairs, Greek festivals welcome everyone from all backgrounds to experience the heart of Greek culture: Authentic food, traditional Greek beverages, the Agora (marketplace), dancing, music and other family friendly activities.
Fredericksburg’s Greek Festival is an outdoor, three day event celebrating its 30th year. Classic Greek food is served including gyros, Greek fries, souvlaki, pastichio, mousaka, and other delicacies prepared with traditional family recipes. The Agora (a traditional Greek marketplace) includes succulent homemade Greek pastries, clothing, jewelry, books and art. Traditional drinks include Greek coffee, Greek beers, wine and of course the popular Greek aperitif, Ouzo. The Kids Zone will provide face painting, a bounce house and other kid-friendly activities.
Live music and traditional Greek dancers entertain the crowds but everyone is encouraged to clap, cheer and learn some of the popular dances on stage. Father John Katsoulis of Fredericksburg’s Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church explains, “Our annual festival is not only an honored tradition where we celebrate with family and friends but it’s a way for us to share our Greek culture and heritage with friends from the Fredericksburg region and beyond.”
The Kalamatiano, the most widely-known Greek dance, originated during the 19th century in southern Greece and is named for the town where it began: Kalamata. Another popular dance is the Zeibekiko. Dance around a wine glass, perform on a table - the possibilities are unlimited and often stir up boisterous laughter in the crowd. Other dances include the Tik, a “stutter-step” dance that was originally used to help motivate soldiers before going into battle and the Pentozali, a very fast dance designed to keep soldiers in shape. The Zorba, made famous in the movie, “Zorba the Greek” has only been around since the 1960’s.
The Greek Orthodox bookstore sells books and other items that present the intriguing history of the Greek Orthodoxy as the historical Christian church. Informative tours feature highlights of the Greek culture & history and the spectacular, colorful murals found throughout the church. Proceeds from the event benefit the ministries of the Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church.
WANT TO GO?
Dates & Times of the Event:
May 20, 3pm - 10pm
May 21, 11am - 11pm
May 22, 12noon - 8pm
Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church
12326 Spotswood Furnace Rd
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Food, Drinks & Marketplace goods available for purchase. Credit cards & cash accepted.
1st child - $5, 2nd child - $4
3rd child - $3, 4th child - $2
Handicap Parking at Church
Parking along church drive
Overflow Parking at Riverbend High School