Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Opa! PA Greek Fest returns live with food, dance and hospitality

In 1972, members of Harrisburg’s Greek community gathered to celebrate heritage, culture and, naturally, cuisine.

Five decades later, they’re still going strong.

This weekend, the PA Greek Fest marks its 50th year, as well as the first in-person celebration in three years.

“We’re excited to be back,” said long-time co-organizer Dimitri Zozos, who stopped by TheBurg’s office on Wednesday to deliver a treat of sweet, nutty baklava.

The pandemic scrubbed the 2020 festival, and last year’s was held as a drive-through-only event.

But, this year, the in-person festival returns to the grounds of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill.

As usual, traditional, homemade Greek dishes are on the menu, with stands serving the ever-popular gyro and souvlaki, as well as homemade Greek pastries. Attendees are invited to take home frozen pans of Greek specialties like moussaka, pastitsio, spanakopita and tiropita.

“All of the food and pastries are available for takeout,” Zozos said.

Entertainment also returns this year. The Olympic Flames Dance Troupe will showcase traditional dances, music and colorful costumes. Visitors also can take tours of the cathedral.

“Our cathedral tours will inspire you, the Orthodox Christian bookstore will educate you, the food and drink will entice you, and the hospitality will overwhelm you,” said the Rev. Fr. Michael Varvarelis.

A portion of proceeds raised from the festival benefit community organizations.

“We use the money to give back to the community through the Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor), which is the philanthropic arm of the Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church in America,” said current Philoptochos President Linda Mallios.

Parking is available both at the church and on nearby streets.

The 50th annual Capital Region Greek Festival takes place May 13 to 15 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1000 Yverdon Dr., Camp Hill. Hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.PAGreekFest.com or their Facebook page.

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