TROY, MI – The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church held its 25th Annual Opa! Festival June 22-24 in Troy. The longest running Greek Festival in the Detroit Metropolitan area, celebrated its Silver Anniversary- 25 years of sharing the Hellenic heritage and Orthodox faith with the community. According to the history of OpaFest, “In 1993, a few parishioners who worked for many years on the Ethnic River Festival said, ‘we need to start the Greek Festival again.’ Sitting in the lobby of our new home in Troy, Happy Methodakis, Mary Ball, Fran Eldis, Fr. Nicholas Harbatis, Ann Feles, Steve Lionas, Gorge Parks, and Karen Cosmos, gathered thinking not how do we achieve this goal but what should we call it. After tossing around many ideas, they decided on ‘St. Nicholas Greek OpaFest.’”
Beginning with only tents and refrigerator trailers and the help of parishioners who had restaurants, and many volunteers, the festival has now progressed with a kitchen and facilities making it easier to prepare all the foods and sweets. OpaFest has become the major fundraiser for the community, promoting Hellenism, Orthodox education, philanthropy, civic responsibilities, and family values. The festival also supports local organizations including Focus Detroit, Gleaners, Red Cross Blanket Drive, Judson Center, Children’s Hospital of Detroit, Ann Arbor Mott Children’s Hospital and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, and Work It Out, among others.
OpaFest featured classic Greek cuisine, authentic pastries, daily dancing with a live Greek band, dance performances, Greek culture presentations and the Greek market, where one could buy clothes, jewelry, and other handicrafts.
Along with all the food, music, and dancing everyone loves at the festival, this year featured cooking demonstrations, an “Iron Chef” competition, and a discussion and book signing with Stella Metsovas, CCN, author of Wild Mediterranean, and a globally recognized clinical nutritionist, media health expert, and specialist in food science and human nutrition, with over fifteen years of experience in the health and fitness industries. Metsovas has been in private practice for ten years, during which she has researched and promoted the importance of gut balance as a key component of complete wellness. She has traveled the world with the United Nations in their “Food for Work” program, and has experienced the lifestyles and diets of the Blue Zone longevity villages firsthand. Metsovas lives in Los Angeles.
Wild Mediterranean: The Age-Old, Science-New Plan for a Healthy Gut, with Food You Can Trust by Stella Metsovas is available online and in bookstores.
More information about OpaFest is available online at: http://opafest.org.