LANCASTER – Hundreds of people flocked to the grounds of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church Saturday for the Annual AV Greek Festival.
“This started out about 53 years ago as just a big dinner among friends, then it grew a little bigger, then we got to the point now where it’s a full fledged festival,” said organizer Bob Koukourikos. “The Festival is built on three things: food, family and fun.”
All three building blocks were on full display Saturday.
- Food. Lines of people snaked around the tables, as festival goers waited their turn to taste authentic Greek cuisine, including Greek chicken and lamb chops, Souvlaki (Greek shish kabob), gyros, dolmathes(stuffed Greek crepes) pastichio (Greek version of lasagna) and Athenian fries. There was even a 40 lb. lamb rotating on a rotisserie to be shared with event goers late Saturday, at no charge.
- Family. Families and friends gathered around dozens of tables under tents to beat the heat and enjoy the food. “We love to have a good time with our families and we like to relax with our parea – the Greek, which means dear circle of friends,” said Koukourikos.
- Fun. There were Carnival rides for children, Greek dance lessons to live music, cooking shows featuring Greek cuisine such as baklava and lamb, and even tours of the cathedral-style church.
The Festival, which continues from 12 to 9 p.m. Sunday, will take place on Labor Day weekend going forward.
“We used to do this later in September, but we moved it to earlier in September this year,” said Koukourikos. “We want to make Labor Day weekend Greek Festival Weekend in the Antelope Valley.”