Fourteenth annual Greek Cultural Festival brings the fun again

One of Bay Ridge’s most famous festivals closed out the summer in style.

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church hosted its 14th annual Greek Cultural Festival, a community fixture that brings traditional foods plus rides and games to Bay Ridge.

For the second consecutive year, the festivities were held for four days, from Thursday, September 21 through Sunday, September 24 for the majority of each day. Attendees gathered on Ridge Boulevard between 84th and 86th Streets to enjoy the diverse activities that the local tradition offers.

This year’s fun-filled four days included performances by New York Melodia and Orchestra and Galaxy Orchestra with Vaggeli Kouris, Greek food and pastries, vendors, rides, games, a flea market, an outdoor taverna and more.

Past President of the festival Sandy Vallas was pleased with the event geared towards the entire family.

“It was another success this year,” he said. “It was very well attended from Thursday through Sunday. Aside from being a fundraiser for the church, it’s also a promotion of our Hellenic heritage. We have various foods from Greece. We have Greek music playing. And our school kids were dancing.”

Because there was so much to do during the nearly week-long event, “Everybody has a different favorite whether it’s the Greek music, food or the Greek items that we sell,” he added. “Everything combined makes our festival as great as it is.”

Vallas stressed the significance the festival has for the entire neighborhood. “Bay Ridge is a melting pot of different ethnicities and the Hellenes are just one part of it,” he said.

Youngster ruled the day, he added. “There were rides for the kids, games inside and lots of great events,” Vallas said. “We had the same set-up as most years and from what I saw and heard, they enjoyed themselves and we always enjoy providing it.”

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