Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Greek Food Festival of Dallas

Most of the time I write about free or inexpensive travel and entertainment on my blog. That's not the case today. The Greek Food Festival of Dallas is a fundraiser for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, so everything has a charge. But we had a blast and it was money well spent.

First a little background: My husband and I LOVE Greek food. There are several local Greek restaurants that we frequent. Before we had kids, we had planned a trip to Greece. Then, life happened and we postponed the trip, thinking that we would be able to go in a few years. Then more life happened and we still haven't made it to Greece due to other priorities. Someday we will make it there!

We've known about the Greek Food Festival of Dallas for many years but have never made it there. We don't watch the local news much, so we never hear about the dates and times of local events. By the time we remember to look up the dates of this festival, it has usually past.

Not this year! I wrote it on the calendar. We had considered going as an adults-only date night, but in the end we decided to take our kids and make it a family affair.

We arrived around 4 p.m. on Saturday. The festival is way more popular than I imagined. We parked across the street on the grass in a $5 lot (make sure to bring cash). I bought tickets and some food coupons online prior to leaving, so we picked those up at the Will Call booth and bypassed the ticket lines. Entrance tickets are $6 for adults/teens ages 13 and older and free to kids 12 and under. Food tickets are $1 each, and drinks started at $2 and many food items were $5.

We decided to start with a tour of the church. There was a formal tour happening when we entered, but based on our kids' attention spans, we opted for a self-guided tour.

The church is beautiful.

Then we started to sample the food. We started with an order of loukoumathes, which are dough puffs topped with honey, nuts and cinnamon.

There were some food booths outside and under the huge tent.

We tried the appetizer sampler plate and fried feta bites (yum!)

We also had a Greek salad, Greek potato fries and a gyro sandwich.

And for dessert, baklava sundaes!

There was a small kids area with a playground and a few fundraisers (balloon animals, sand art, face painting). We killed some time on the playground until the next round of dancers was scheduled to go on stage.

We also took some photos with the Greek soldiers:

We went over to the stage area about 10 minutes prior to the scheduled performance time to get a seat. Good thing, because once it started there was standing room only!

Prior to the performance, kids ran around/danced on stage to the Greek music playing. My kids said this was their favorite part of the festival! Dance like no one's watching! (Except for the 100s of people in the audience).

The high-school-aged dancers went on at 6:30 p.m. and danced for about 30 minutes. All I have to say is...Greeks sure now how to party! They look so joyful when they dance, and it got really loud with all the hoopla from the audience! Opa!

After the performance, we got some balloon animals for two of our kids:

And bought some sand art (self-made) for our oldest:
We left around 7:30 p.m. and the crowd was getting thick. More dancers and live bands were scheduled throughout the evening. As we were walking out, the kids asked us if we could return next year. Umm...let me think about it....Yes!

Have you been to this festival?

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