PENSACOLA, FL – Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1720 West Garden Street in Pensacola, hosts the Pensacola Greek Festival November 3-5. The festival returns in-person for its 63rd iteration after celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2019, the Pensacola News Journal (PNJ) reported on September 23, adding that “the 2020 and 2021 Greek festivals were canceled due to the impact of the pandemic and renovations to the church complex.”
With a shortage of volunteers in 2022, the community hosted a take-out “Taste of Greece” event featuring an abbreviated menu with some of the festival favorites such as pastitsio and dolmadakia as well as assorted pastries available for pick-up, PNJ reported, but this year the festival will be back to its usual menu of classic homemade favorites, souvlakia, gyros, moussaka, and desserts, among the many items to enjoy, along with traditional Greek music and dancing.
“There are several ways the Greek parishioners use the festival not only to share their delicious food but share their culture,” PNJ reported, noting that “parishioners lead group tours during the historic Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church during the festival while the choir sings traditional hymns. During these tours, guests learn about the Greek church and community.”
“Pensacola’s Greek heritage dates to the 1800s, when some mariners were the first Greek immigrants to arrive and stay in Pensacola,” PNJ reported, adding that “they worked as local fishermen, and by 1910, about 120 immigrants were permanent residents of the area, bringing with them a rich cultural heritage to share.”
“As their families expanded, so did the effect of Greek culture on business,” PNJ reported, noting that “while some continued to make their livings in the fishing industry, others opened grocery stores, restaurants and small businesses.”
“In 1910, the first Greek Orthodox Church was established,” PNJ reported, adding that “now in 2023, the traditions and culture are still being kept alive through Pensacola’s Greek community.”
The Pensacola Greek Festival hours: Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4, 11 AM-8:30 PM, and Sunday, November 5, 11 AM-3 PM.
More information available by phone: 850-433-2662 and online: https://www.annunciationgoc.org/ and on the Pensacola Greek Festival Facebook page.