Sixteenth annual Greek Cultural Festival brings food and fun to Bay Ridge

BAY RIDGE — If you were looking for mouth-watering moussaka, spectacular spanakopita or the best baklava in the borough, Bay Ridge was the place to be last weekend.

The Holy Cross Greek Cultural Festival is an always-anticipated outdoor event that ran from Thursday, Sept. 19 to Sunday, Sept. 22 between 84th and 86th streets on Ridge Boulevard. There was Greek cuisine galore and delicious pastries, vendors, rides, games, prizes, a flea market, outdoor dining and Greek dancing. There was also music provided by the New York Melodia & Orchestra on Friday night and a DJ on Saturday.

Children happily holding the goldfish they just won.

“As usual we had traditional Greek dishes and desserts all handmade by the wonderful volunteers of our Holy Cross community,” Holy Cross Parish Council member Demetrius Kalamaras told this paper. “And there were Greek souvenirs, icons and other items sold inside the gym.”

He credited parish Chair Harry Pasalis for doing a remarkable job bringing all the volunteers together. “This is the main fundraiser for our community and the money raised goes to support our church and its many ministries which include our parochial school, senior programs, outreach programs for the community and educational programs.”

Kalamaras explained that the festival commemorates the feast day of the church in celebration of when Constantine’s mother Helen found the Holy Cross.

“We always get thousands of people from all walks of life coming to the festival to enjoy a little bit of Greece in the heart of Bay Ridge this one weekend a year,” added Kalamaras.

Zoe Koutsoupakis, senior vice president at Signature Bank NY and one of the founders of the Holy Cross Outreach Center that helps feed and clothe the homeless, was thrilled with the festival.

“It was very nice being a part of the Holy Cross Greek Festival once again this year,” Koutsoupakis told this paper.

“We couldn’t ask for better weather and the crowd seemed to be having a wonderful time. I congratulate the committee for all their hard work in putting it all together. Just an amazing, well-organized festival for our Holy Cross community, and from A to Z, I give them a 10,” she added.

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