The San Luis Obispo Greek Festival returns to San Luis Obispo with its 12th annual event on June 1 and 2, at its new location, the Madonna Expo Center, 100 Madonna Rd. The festival hours are 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, and 11 AM to 6 PM on Sunday. The festival will take place rain or shine, as it is now indoors!
Admission and parking are free!
The Greek Festival is one of San Luis Obispo’s most highly-anticipated cultural events and is hosted by the parishioners of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, located in San Luis Obispo. The family-friendly weekend features authentic Greek cuisine, homemade pastries, live traditional music, and dancing, as well as shopping and cultural exhibits.
“The Greek Festival has become a San Luis Obispo tradition. Every year, the Greek Festival provides an opportunity for San Luis Obispo to experience the art, music and food of Greece,” says Jean Costopoulos Weeks, chairperson of the 2019 San Luis Obispo Greek Festival.
This is an opportunity for the Saint Andrew parish to share the Greek culture, sounds and tastes of Greece with the community in which it resides. It’s a way of showing the people in the community the true meaning of Greek hospitality.
Highlights of the 2-day festival include:
- Authentic Greek food and pastries
- Beer and local wines
- Greek music and dancing
- Performances by traditional Greek dance groups
- Hellenic cultural booth
- Community booth
- A marketplace with unique gifts and souvenirs
The Greek Festival brings different groups in the community together in many ways. The local parish of Saint Andrew bands together in its largest community outreach of the year. Saint Andrew’s parishioners and friends pull together for weeks to prepare the traditional dishes and pastries that everyone comes to enjoy. These Greek dishes are prepared by using fresh ingredients from cherished family recipes and vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options will be available.
Festival guests will witness a variety of traditional Greek dances performed by youth and adult groups. Our Cal Poly outreach brings students who rally to help prepare and serve at the festival and have their own competitive Greek dance group that performs at the festival. Also, other traditional Greek dancers, who come from outside the parish, will participate in the dance performances at the festival. After learning a few steps from the free dance lessons provided by the dancers, you’ll be dancing along with them and doing traditional Greek dances like the Syrto!
The Greek Festival is a fundraiser for Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church. However, an important aspect is that a portion of the funds raised goes back into the community to the outreach programs that Saint Andrew’s supports. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the SLO Noor Foundation. Saint Andrew’s also works to support 40 Prado Homeless Services Center, the SLO County Foodbank, Kids ‘n Cancer, and The Angel Tree. So, attendance supports far beyond the festival itself!
These outreach programs play a critical role in helping those in need. The SLO Noor Foundation’s mission is to provide free medical, dental and vision services to uninsured adults in San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration, religious, or socioeconomic status. Saint Andrew’s also works to support 40 Prado Homeless Services Center by purchasing, preparing and serving a hot breakfast to 150 to 175 individuals monthly at 40 Prado. The parish supports the SLO County Foodbank with a food drive annually; as well as Kids ‘n Cancer, where it helps send terminally ill children and their families to a week-long summer camp. The Angel Tree outreach is a program of Prison Fellowship that connects parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. Through Angel Tree, Saint Andrew’s receives the names and gift wishes of 25+ local children who have an incarcerated parent. This rewarding program delivers not only a gift, but also a Christmas message from the parent to the child. Through this process, we are keeping the connection alive between parent and child and helping express the love they share for each other.
The SLO Greek Festival is looking for energetic and reliable volunteers to help out with the festival. If you would like to get involved, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org