ASTORIA – Greek Night returned to Athens Square Park in Astoria on July 10 with authentic, live Greek music, performed by Nikos Nikolaides and the Cosmopolitans with Olga Pantelis and the Noora Belly Dancers. The Greek Nights are organized once again by the Committee of the Square.
Classic, internationally-known songs including Zorba the Greek and Eudokia’s Zembekiko, demotic songs like Oraia Aigiotissa, as well as rembetika, like Aliti me eipes mia vradia (You called me aliti one night), impressed all those in attendance, Greek and non-Greek, who joined in the dancing and singing along with the talented musicians.
“The evening was amazing. First of all, the weather helped, encouraging people to come out, I think we had nice music and I’m very happy to start these summer events that take place every year over the past decade thanks to the Greek American Homeowners Association, George Delis, George Alexiou, and George Kitsios. We thank them for this great night,” Nikos Nikolaides told The National Herald. Nikolaides will be back to perform again in a few weeks on August 28.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee of the Square, George Delis thanked the sponsors, who contributed financial aid again this year to cover the costs of the artistic events. The musical evenings are free and open to the public.
“I am very excited. I firmly believe this will be our best summer ever. I thank all of our sponsors because without them we would not have the financial capacity to organize these events. We bring, in a way, Greece to Astoria, with artists from the Greek community,” Delis said.
The Greek American Homeowners Association also contributed $150,000 for the Greek Nights.
“We had great weather and everything started well. It is wonderful that we are here, because I have the impression that we stand out from other nationalities. I don’t see any other similar gatherings, anywhere with performances, music, and such a good atmosphere. I hope everything goes well. We have very nice music scheduled all summer and all the performances will be better than the last.”
The Greek Music Nights take place every Tuesday at 7:15 PM. Altogether, 13 musical events are scheduled through October 2, with the hope, of course, that the weather will continue to be mild through September and into October.
“We have a program, which continues into the beginning of October, every Tuesday. We have some sponsors, and whatever else is needed we cover financially. I believe that this year, like every year, we will have beautiful Greek nights at Athens Square and everyone will be happy,” said George Alexiou.
This year, Greek Nights are expected to bring in a younger crowd since yoga will also be available. Amanda Obregon leads the free lessons every Tuesday at 6:15 PM, that is, one hour before the beginning of the musical program.
The next event will feature Giorgos Fotakis and the Laiki Compania on rembetiko night. At the same time, every week belly dancers will also perform on Greek Night.