SOUTHAMPTON, NY – A four-day Greek festival of the Kimisis tis Theotokou in Southampton, NY was again the par excellence cultural event not only of the city itself but of all of Long Island.
People of all ages and ethnicities visited the festival by the thousands, enjoying delicious homemade Greek food and pastries.
Video: ΤΝΗ/Costa Bej
Fr. Alex Karloutsos, presiding priest of the parish for the last 20 years told TNH that “it was a big success. The locale newspaper Southampton Press published a photograph of the dome with its hagiography and people came from throughout Long Island to see it and also to enjoy the festivities.
“We have the opportunity to talk and show them our Faith. When they are Jewish I show them the icon of the Dormition of Theotokos and tell them: ‘do you see all these people on the icons? They are Jewish.’ We have installed a mosaic of the School of Athens with all the Greeks, and I tell them here the civilization is Hellenic and it has inspired the entire world. St. Paul who knew Greek convinced the Greeks to abandon Zeus and worship Christ the true God.”
But is four days a bit much? “We don’t have it in the mornings,” Fr. Karloutsos said, “because we have the beaches here and people go swimming in the morning and they come in the afternoon around 4PM; we stay open until 10 or 11 at night.”
He added that “the festival has become the family event per se here in Hamptons. It is very nice because we bring the guests close to us, to our spirit and culture. Everyone supports us, it is really a huge event here.”
He spoke about the fresh, homemade food, adding that “we buy gyro from a new company called Megayeros, which is authentic, not processed. It is tasty and everyone loves it because its taste is like it is in Greece.”
More than 140 volunteers work tirelessly, he said. “Constantinos Karpathakis, presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos, and Panagiota Greta-Nikiteas are in charge of the festival.
“This year we have three dance groups from our parish. We have organized a nice and authentic variety store that sells everything Greek products but also a variety of gifts, jewelry, and souvenirs from Greece. We had artwork by Despina Konstantinidis, who is a very good painter.
“People come from everywhere,” he said, adding that many prominent Greek-Americans attend, such as John Catsimatidis and Michael Psaros.