The 50th Annual Greek Festival at St. George in Clifton, NJ

CLIFTON, NJ – Crowds of people, Greeks and non-Greeks, attended the 50th Annual Greek Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, May 31-June 2.

Everyone enjoyed traditional Greek food and sweets made by the members of the parish, live music, shopping for a variety of goods from the bazaar, while amusement park rides entertained the younger attendees.

Presiding priest Fr. Peter G. Souritzidis spoke with The National Herald and warmly thanked the people who honor the festival with their presence, as well as all the volunteers and donors for their service and contributions to the parish.

He said: “Above all, we thank the good God for blessing us to feel the love, solidarity, and cooperation needed to create such a great wonderful event. We feel proud to see all members working together harmoniously and lovingly for the good of our church.”

“At the same time, we are given the opportunity to promote Orthodoxy, civilization, culture, cuisine and Greek hospitality in the wider community, and not only,” Souritzidis noted. “Every day visitors, even non-Christians, tour the holy church and learn about our faith. Our church is over a century old. It is constantly growing and progressing and this is due to the good Christians and the excellent families we have.”

A group of volunteers at the loukoumades station at the 50th Annual Greek Festival at St. George in Clifton, NJ. Photo: TNH/ Michael Kakias

The organizers of the festival, Stephanos Frangos and John Pilavas, thanked the dozens of volunteers who worked countless hours to ensure the success of the festival, the sponsors for the donations and the attendees for their contributions.

“This year we have over 200 volunteers working in a six-hour shift each and they are not only members of the parish, Greeks from different parts of New Jersey have come to help and even people who are not Greek or even Christians work voluntarily and this is really moving for us,” they said. “Preparations start several months ahead, with each group taking on one area, food, entertainment, etc. The festival is a key source of income to cover the church’s operating expenses and all our programs, Greek School, Sunday School, GOYA, JOY. A large part of the income this year will be for maintenance and renovation projects of our church.”

Philoptochos President Harriet Panagakis said that all 100 members of the society help at the festival by making all kinds of sweets, baklava, kourambiedes, cookies, as well as serving.

Greek School teacher Fotoula Anastasopoulos thanked the students who, together with the GOYA members, entertained everyone with their performance in the dance program every day at the festival.


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