Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Festival

Have you ever been asked to describe yourselves in three words? If we had to pick...we'd go with: Fat, Happy and Culturally Satisfied! Ok, maybe that's more than three, but after going to the Greek Festival this weekend in Albany, there's little more you can say.

For a mere $3, the Garretts went to Greece without even having to find their passports. Alright, it wasn't another country or even another area code for that matter but it definitely something out of the ordinary. It was like bathing in olive oil and feta! The St. Sophia Greek Festival celebrated their 41st anniversary with traditional Greek food, dancing and tours of the church. And people were lined up for that food! We tried gyros and saganaki and a sampler platter of other traditional foods. No surprise, the spanakopita we had put Heather's sad little Rachel Ray recipe to shame.

Heather was pretty sure she had learned some of the Greek line dancing in her Folk & Square dancing class (SMS '97) but couldn't be coerced into joining the group on stage. Greek dances have a great diversity of rhythm and are divided into dragging dances (Syrtos) and springtime dances (Pidiktos). The traditional dances have changed little since ancient time and usually feature a circle of people holding hands and moving in a counter-clockwise direction. Can you tell Heather got an A in that dance class?? Here's some video we shot while feasting...

However, the highlight of the festival (for us anyway) was touring the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. It was beautiful! Albany's Greek Orthodox community was founded in 1922 and the church opened a year later. Today, the church is made up of about 400 families and as you can tell from the pictures...still as impressive as when it first opened in 1923.

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