HAMPTONS, NY – The Kimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) Greek Festival once again brought a taste of Greece to the Hamptons. The four-day festival took place July 11-14 under perfect summer weather conditions which brought in attendees form near and far to enjoy the traditional food, music, and dancing.
The church grounds were bustling with people lining up for the classic Greek food and sweets, shopping from the vendors, music and various activities, the parish again succeeded in giving "Greek color" to the everyday life of the area. Greek and non-Greek vacationers had a delightful time.
The parish dance groups from the youngest children to the older ages performed the well-known Greek dances highlighting the cultural tradition of Greece.
“Thursday and Friday were really the most successful. Many Greeks and non-Greeks attended, including celebrities as many of our friends who are not Greek always make time to visit us. Trying our food and watching the Festival, they exclaim ‘how nice are the Greeks!’ For us, this is the most significant,” said the presiding priest of the community, Fr. Alexander Karloutos, in an interview with The National Herald.
According to Fr. Karloutsos, the president of the American Holocaust Museum, Howard M. Lorber, from the Greek-Jewish community of Thessaloniki, said that the Hampton Festival awakens "beautiful memories."
"Howard Lorber is, among other things, a close friend of President Donald Trump. When he tasted our food, he turned to me and said that it reminded him of the genuine Greek food made by his grandmother from Thessaloniki. He tried moussaka, but also lamb on the spit and I liked both very much,” said Fr. Karloutsos.
Among those who attended this year’s Dormition of the Virgin Mary Hamptons Festival, were many well-known personalities of the Greek community such as John Catsimatidis and Mike Angeliadis.
"We are pioneers in the American community"
The Dormition of the Virgin Mary in the Hamptons organizes events throughout the year, but during the summer it has its two most important: The Festival, organized in July, and the Blue Dream Gala, which takes place in August every year. This year’s Blue Dream Gala is scheduled for August 24.
This is a fundraiser that does not address the "narrow circle" of the Greek community but is open to the wider American society, offering substantial financial assistance for important social causes.
This year, the money will be earmarked for the needs of erecting newer, more modern, facilities at Southampton Hospital, which serves the area. As noted in TNH, Fr. Karloutsos is a member of the donation committee, along with others including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and American investor John Paulson.
“I like to see that our Church serves the American community around us. We are Greeks and we must be leaders, not just followers. Everyone now recognizes the central role of the Greek community in the Hamptons. It is an opportunity to promote our Greek heritage and remind us that as Greeks we are philanthropists and benefactors and we can serve the American community,” said Fr. Karloutsos.
Finally, Fr. Karloutsos praised the members of the Dormition community for their efforts and their significant financial contribution, both for the Festival and for the rest of the parish's activities and contributions to society.
“We have a Greek school, programs for the elderly, but also efforts such as Love Michael, where autistic people are involved, and have the opportunity to learn cooking. From this activity, they are rewarded financially and feel they have a quality of life,” concluded Fr. Karloutsos.