Detroit Greektown Heritage Festival July 30, Assumption GreekFest Aug. 18-21

DETROIT – The annual Greektown Heritage Festival celebrating the rich, ethnic Greek heritage of the neighborhood returns to Detroit Saturday, July 30, noon-9 PM. The highlight of the family-friendly festival is the street-side lamb roast with several spits rotating this celebratory Greek dish. Monroe Street is filled with live Greek music, traditional Greek dancers, and an array of Greek food and drink.

Enjoy live Greek entertainment including Aegean Roots, the Hellenic Society of Performing Arts Dancers, Enigma, Cretan Pseloretes of Detroit, and DJ Nico Blu.

The Greektown Heritage Festival is presented by Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, Hollywood Casino at Greektown, Bedrock, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fabiano Brothers, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and Gold Star Products.

The event began in 2018 and returns after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Greektown Neighborhood Partnership Vice President Tasso Teftsis, “is in charge of food for the event and said that the idea for the lamb roast was inspired by the villages in Greece that roast lamb during festivals,” The Detroit News (TDN) reported on July 28.

“It’s a beautiful scene with all of the lambs roasting,” Teftsis told TDN. “Myself and my neighbors skewer the lambs and we put them on in the morning, and then as people walk by the lamb is already cooked. We give them a taste of the lamb, and they can buy a sandwich.”

Besides delicious food, attendees can enjoy live Greek music and dancing and games for the kids. “We have Greek music and live bands all day and we have Greek dancing, they [attendees] can also participate in the dancing as well,” Teftsis told TDN. “It’s really a lot of fun. It’s a very authentic experience to be down here and enjoy our culture and heritage.”

Spero Dionysopoulos, co-owner of Golden Fleece, the oldest restaurant in Greektown, as well as Exodus Rooftop and Bakaliko Greek Market, said that he is “looking forward to the business that the festival brings to his restaurants,” TDN reported.

“I’m just excited for everybody to come see all the restaurants and everything that my culture has to offer,” Dionysopoulos told TDN. “We’re very excited for everyone to come down for something different, to enjoy the Greek culture.”

Dionysopoulos reflected on the last Greek Heritage Festival’s success, noting that “before the pandemic was the last one and it was very nice. There was a lot of people and everybody really loves the roast lamb and they also come to restaurants and try things that maybe they’ve never tried before,” TDN reported.

More information is available online: https://www.greektowndetroit.org/events.

Also coming soon, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 21800 Marter Road, St. Clair Shores, MI, hosts its GreekFest August 18-21. The grand opening ceremony on Thursday, August 18, 5 PM, will recognize community leaders, TDN reported.

Tom Thomas, one of the four co-chairs of the festival, told TDN, that he is looking forward to “finally getting back together with the community. This is more of a community effort. It doesn’t matter if the people are Greek or American, everybody gets together and enjoys themselves.”

Thomas also noted that “there will be a marketplace with items from all over the world, and an opportunity for a tour to learn about the religious history of the church,” TDN reported.

Festival co-chair George Dallas invited everyone to attend, adding that “it’s an opportunity for people to enjoy the Greek culture without going to Greece. Come be Greek for a day,” TDN reported.

Hours: Thursday, August 18, 4-10 PM; Friday, August 19, 4-11 PM; Saturday, August 20, 11 AM-11 PM; and Sunday, August 21, 11 AM-8 PM.

More information is available by phone: 586-779-6111 and online: https://www.assumptionfestival.com/


THRU SEPTEMBER 27 ASTORIA – The Athens Square Committee presents Greek Night at Athens Square Park, 30th Avenue and 30th Street in Astoria, with live music every Tuesday, 7-9 PM.

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