Dayton Greek Festival returns full scale this weekend

The Dayton Greek Festival is returning full force this weekend after two years of drive-thru events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are very excited to be back in-person this year,” said Christina Panagouleas-Stephens, public relations manager with the Dayton Greek Festival. “We know how much Dayton appreciates our festival and it’s great to see people appreciate our heritage as much as we do.”

Held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, located at 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton, the festival features everything Greek from its food, coffee and beer to its live music, dancing and vendors.

“The people in Dayton really love the food,” Panagouleas-Stephens said. “Our recipes are over 100 years old.”

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She said festivalgoers always take pastries to-go. Favorites include the Koulouraki, a mildly sweet butter cookie that pairs well with coffee and is sold in sets of six. Other festival favorites include gyros that come in traditional, chicken or veggie.

Panagouleas-Stephens said they have added new vendors this year along with a list of craft beers.

The free festival also offers tours of its over 100-year-old church throughout the weekend that Panagouleas-Stephens described as “a site to be seen.”

Parking is available at the Masonic Temple for $10 throughout the weekend except Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Grandview Hospital’s Shaw Center parking lot for free. A free shuttle will be available to transport festivalgoers from Grandview Hospital’s Shaw Center parking lot to the festival and back.

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Panagouleas-Stephens said her favorite part of the festival is watching her children dance.

“It’s really exciting to see history repeat itself,” Panagouleas-Stephens said. “I remember how I felt and now I get to see it through their eyes.”

The Dayton Greek Festival will take place Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Panagouleas-Stephens said festival hours have changed this year to provide extra time to sanitize and clean at the end of each day for COVID purposes.

For more information, visit www.daytongreekfestival.com or visit the festival’s Facebook page.

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