Salt Lake City’s Big Fat Greek Festival

By Alexis Cortez

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The Greek Festival, which acts as a fundraiser for the Greek community, ran for three days last weekend at its usual corner on 3rd West with food, music and dancers performing onstage.

The entrance to the Greek Festival was like an entrance to Greek culture–visitors were met with warm smiles and the smell of freshly cooked food. “Every year I’m excited to come and enjoy spending the night with my friends eating authentic Greek food and watching the dances,” said Celia Adams, a student at the U. “Greek people are so kind and sweet.”

Festival goers enjoyed homemade food while watching traditional Greek dances and drinking games. With such a large turnout many people came with their friends and family to enjoy the festival together, but with limited seating strangers sat together to enjoy a few drinks and some food only to leave having made new friends. For some, attending the Greek Festival had become a tradition that they looked forward to every year.

“The first time we came was three years ago,” said Cameron Wilson, a current Utah Valley University student. “And we keep coming back every year. It’s a wonderful tradition that we plan to keep. There is great food and it’s a glimpse into the Greek culture that is here in Salt Lake.”

Many people gathered around the pastries, set out next to freshly-poured coffee, others enjoyed a tour of the historic Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Hellenic museum, both of which allowed visitors a chance to better learn of the religious aspect of Greek culture, as the Greek Orthodox Church is arguably the lifeblood of the Greek community.

As festival goers made their way to the dining hall for the main courses, one could hear the occasional, “Niko, bring more meatballs,” said with a familiarity that led one to feel that all the volunteers were just like family, if not literally so. Just as those who are a part of the Greek community come together for the annual festival, the residents of Salt Lake that gathered to enjoy the food and entertainment felt a sense of belonging and celebration–a tradition surely to be held for years to come.

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