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Annual Greek Festival next weekend

Saint Sophia Cathedral will host its 32nd annual Greek Festival next weekend.

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
The Miami Herald
South Floridians will lace up their dancing shoes to learn foreign traditional folk dances at Saint Sophia Cathedral’s 32nd annual Greek Festival.

The church, at 2401 SW 3rd Ave., will be hosting the three-day affair that runs from Feb. 19-21. The event opens Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 11 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults ($3 with coupon) and free to children 12 and under. Admission will go to the church.

In a first for festival-goers, young Greek dancers will be offering lessons to those who wish to learn traditional dances like the Zorba. The performers, who range from 5 to 18 years old, will also celebrate their heritage with several shows throughout the day. Greek musicians will entertain the crowd.

Chairman of St. Sophia Parish Council, Nick Kallergis, says the event is more than fun.

“It started off as a combination of a fundraiser and a celebration of our heritage and religion,” Kallergis said.

“It’s more definitive of our spirit.”

Several traditional Greek delicacies will be available such as mousaka (eggplant), gyros and the famed Greek salads. Pastries from the European country will also be sold such as baklava and honey-dipped loukoumades.

A variety of booths offering arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, religious art and devotional items and books will be on hand.

Kallergis says revelers don’t have to travel to Europe to have a taste of the historic country.

“It will feel like a small market in a Greek village, where people are selling,” he said. “It’s all happening in the same place.”

Kallergis said the event attracts thousands including locals and visitors of all nationalities. Guided tours of the Byzantine cathedral will be offered each day, and there will be a children’s area with activities.

Cooking demonstrations by the women of St. Sophia’s Greek community and Greek restaurants as Mykonos, Taverna Opa and The University Restaurant and Patio will be showcased.

Drinkers will also have a wide range of selection of Greek specialty wines and beer.

“We have aficionados, who come just to taste the Greek beer,” he said.

For more information: www.stsophiamiami.com/Festival.dsp

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