The 26th annual Hamptons Greek Festival, which will take place from July 7 to 10, will celebrate Greek culture through traditional dance, live music, games and food.
Recipes of the hearty and rich traditional foods, such as pastitsio, souvlaki, gyro and pastries, have been selected through a taste test to ensure that attendees get the truest taste of Greece.
“In the old days, everyone made their own recipes,” said Father Alexander Karloutsos of the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church. “Now we have the best, quality-controlled food.”
George Polychronopoulos of Gordon’s in Amagansett, among other chefs of Greek tradition, will prepare the recipes that go back generations.
“You can smell the aromas,” Father Karloutsos said. “It’s like being in yaya’s [grandma’s] kitchen.”
He suspects more than 3,000 people enjoyed the festival in 2010 and believes the number will increase from last year.
“This is a brief moment, an opportunity to celebrate a culture that is very much a part of the American culture,” Father Karloutsos said. “The culture, the food, the music, the atmosphere, and the pastries celebrate the Greekness that is unique to America and the East End.”
This year, the festival will be held at the Elks Club Lodge 1574 grounds on County Road 39 because the church is constructing three new buildings on their grounds.
The Elks Lodge grounds offer approximately 17 acres of space, which is “a lot more room,” according to Father Karloutsos.
The Elks Lodge has played host to a number of events, such as the Southampton Kiwanis Club carnival, the North Sea Lions carnival, and several antiques shows and arts and crafts shows.
The festival is still free of charge and the Elks Lodge has ample, free parking for everyone.
The church’s new sanctuary, cultural center and community center are slated for completion in the fall of 2012, and will provide members with more room for Sunday school, social gatherings, and a new library.
The festival is open from Thursday to Saturday, July 7 to 9, from 4 to 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 10, from noon to 9 p.m. For more information, visit kimisishamptons.org.