Tuesday, September 1, 2020

One of my favourite events of the summer is Greek Fest. Smiling, happy people having fun, amazing music, talented colourful dancers, a connection to a rich culture, community and incredible food – it’s got it all! And I’m not alone in loving this. More than 20,000 people attended last year! So, when I heard that Greek Fest 2020 was on – I was thrilled! It is different this year – but much of the core components are there.

A group of determined organizers along with a very supportive community and almost 30 sponsors have managed to adapt and innovate to offer at least some of the popular festival – the food and the smiling happy people – in a safe and delicious way! 

You just can’t keep Victoria’s Greek community down!

Working with Island Health, Greek Fest organizers have created a system that’s safe and respectful for everyone – staff and fest-goers alike. Their amazing menu is online with instructions for ordering and pick-up, and their safety plan – masked staff, frequent hand-washing, and well-organized festival visitors that remain in their cars when they pick-up their orders. The annual two-weekend event has just finished its inaugural weekend and it’s back for more next weekend!

In a year where finding connection and celebration is a little trickier than we’re used to, Greek Fest organizers have outdone themselves. They have created an opportunity to enjoy great Greek food and be together in spirit – and help fundraise for good causes. Funds raised in this 19th year of the festival will go to hot lunch programs for students in Greater Victoria and a sandwich program for those experiencing homelessness, as well as language, dance and cooking classes at the community centre.

Weekend two of the festival runs this weekend – Friday to Monday, 12 to 8 pm daily (September 4-7). Go online to order at www.GreekFest.ca and then head over to 4648 Elk Lake Drive (by Saanich Commonwealth Place) at your designated pick-up time and enjoy your feast! 

PS - For all those that love Greek heritage – the Greek Heritage Project Museum is open for half-hour visits – by reservation only. This wonderful cultural centre offers a chance to see hundreds of artifacts sharing the history and genealogy of Greek immigrants to Vancouver Island. The museum is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – by pre-registration only. Email greekhpm@gmail.com  to book 1/2 hour museum visits.