Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church celebrates its culture

Brooklynites flocked in droves to the 11th annual Holy Cross Greek Festival, held between 84th and 86thStreets along Ridge Boulevard.

Attendees enjoyed Greek cuisine such as souvlaki and roasted pig as well as pastries such as Loukoumades.  Games, raffles and dancing are also fixtures of the festivities. Children enjoyed rides such as a carousel, carnival games and a large fun house.

“The festival was very successful for the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church,” said Sandy Vallas, a past president of the parish council.  “It serves as a fundraiser for the church and brings Greek culture to people that haven’t experienced it before.  We had a very nice turnout. A lot of people showed up. We had lots of rides, events, pastries, different Greek food, like gyros.”

A new addition to this year was Taverna Nights Live at the Stavroula Gabriel Community Center, which included live performances by Yianni Papastefanou and Vaggelis Kouris.

Years ago, the famous festival took a hiatus much to the dismay of residents. “A few years back when we stopped it doing it, people wondered what happened,” Vallas recalled. “When we resurrected it, people were thrilled that it was back. The community really looks forward to it.”

Sponsors for the event included Maimonides Medical Center, Alma Bank, Investors Bank and Atlantic Bank. Vallas was thankful for all the volunteers that made the weekend a success “The festival is one of our biggest fundraisers thanks to the help of everyone at Holy Cross Church. People work really hard to make it possible.”

This year’s festivities started on Friday, September 19 and concluded on Sunday, September 21.

The cooks showed off their hard work.
The cooks showed off their hard work.
Conor Lugo and mom Rebecca on the carousel.
Conor Lugo and mom Rebecca on the carousel.

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