“The event allows our guests to be Greek for the day,” said Steve Tingas, who co-chairs the event with Danny Vlahiotis.
Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church was started in Marietta 24 years ago and is part of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.
“Our church started in a local Marietta shopping center and has now grown to a membership of over 300 families. We still use the original Greek language in our services and teachings, in which all the books of the New Testament were first written,” Tingas said.
The church is a Greek Orthodox parish, part of the oldest Christian tradition dating back to 33 A.D., the day of Pentecost.
“We trace our roots back to the Apostles and their teachings. We are a stronghold of the moral, theological, liturgical and spiritual traditions of the Early Church. We hold on to many of the basic early Christian traditions, including the worship services, spirituality and theology, which are rooted in the Early Christian Church,” he explained.
The festival — put on by church volunteers — features entertainment, shopping, and authentic Greek food such as souvlaki (shish kabob), chicken oreganato, pastitchio (Greek lasagna), Spanakopita (spinach pie), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), Greek salad, Greek pastries such as baklava and loukoumades, and much more. Volunteers make everything from scratch.
“Our guests will also hear live Greek music and witness professional Greek dancers perform dances native to areas throughout Greece. We offer a guided tour of our Byzantine style sanctuary that is typically taken by over 4,000 of our guests annually,” Tingas said.
Children can enjoy the Palamakia Playland and watch dancers as young as 4 years old. The Agora, the Greek marketplace, will offer items such as clothing, jewelry, food ingredients, pastries, and “pretty much anything you could find in a shopping center.”
At the Taverna (Greek Tavern), guests will find Greek beer, wine and spirits.
The festival benefits local charities such as WellStar Foundation, Shepherd Spinal Center, Jacobs Ladder, Hire Heroes USA, Loving Arms Cancer Outreach and area schools such as Simpson Middle School and Lassiter High School as well as the churchwomen’s philanthropic organization, Philoptochos that provides financial assistance to needy individuals and families in the church neighborhood. The Festival also supports the church building fund.
The festival will be at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, 3431 Trickum Road, Marietta. Parking will be available at Simpson Middle School at 3340 Trickum Road; Church of Latter-Day Saints at 3195 Trickum Road; and Lassiter High School at 2601 Shallowford Road.
Festival hours are Friday at 3 to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m..
To learn more, visit mariettagreekfestival.org.