Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral Presents: GreekFest 2019
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Submitted
The summer festival season isn’t complete until someone yells “Opa!” while feasting on gyros and spanakopita at the Indianapolis GreekFest, happening August 23–25. Festivalgoers have been enjoying the sights, sounds and aromas at GreekFest while celebrating the Orthodox faith and Hellenic Culture for nearly half a century. GreekFest is an annual family-oriented festival that has grown out of and into new locations before settling into its location in Carmel, Indiana, in 2008.
The vision of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s Father Andrew Georgaroudakis—who initiated GreekFest in 1973—in addition to the dedicated parishioners and volunteers, has led the festival into its 46th year and remains one of Central Indiana’s favorite annual community events.
Renee Brochhagen, secretary and marketing director at GreekFest, expanded on how the parishioners and volunteers add to the festival’s success.
“Our parishioners are so devoted to helping it [GreekFest] grow and to sharing our heritage and faith,” she said. “I think that contributes a lot to the success of it. We also have volunteers from outside of the parish who volunteer and help with the festival. For instance, we have volunteers who like to help during our baking sessions, where we bake cookies to sell at the festival. They are looking to get involved in the community and enjoy learning more about Greek culture.”
GreekFest’s “president emeritus” Marika Kalyvas Bagios added, “The parishioners and volunteers go out of their way to make it [GreekFest] special for everybody who attends. We adopt the attitude of ‘Come to our house.’ You’re not just coming to a festival, to a church or an event; you’re coming to our house, where we love to entertain people. That’s what Greeks like to do—we love to entertain. We want you to come and relax, enjoy the sights and sounds and have a good time. GreekFest is a great place for ‘people watching.’ Come watch and listen to the band and have a good time!”
While GreekFest aims to entertain and educate the attendees, it also fundraises for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s many outreach programs and ministries that serve the Carmel and surrounding communities in various ways. The festival brings in an average of 10,000–15,000 attendees each year over the festival weekend and continues to grow in attendance via word of mouth and digital marketing efforts.
“We’ve become more ‘digital’ in recent years,” Brochhagen shared. “We promote [the festival] on our Facebook page and will tweet throughout the festival on Twitter for those following.”
Festivalgoers are encouraged to share their photos and “tag” Indianapolis Greek Festival on Facebook as well as share their experiences throughout the festival this year.
Be sure to check out all of the highlights that include the Hellenic Dance Troupe. The Troupe represents the Hellenic Dance Program, a ministry that engages youth and adults in Orthodox Christian Fellowship and provides an opportunity for them to experience Hellenic culture through folk dance. Members of the Troupe will act as “ambassadors” this year during the festival and will invite attendees to learn the dances and join them during the exhibitions. All attendees are encouraged to don their “Greek” attire and come dressed in costume this year as a way to increase cultural appreciation throughout the festival.
Don’t miss out on a festival favorite, loukoumades, along with many other examples of authentic food, Greek wine and craft beer at this year’s GreekFest. Admission to the festival is free, so bring your family and friends and enjoy the guided cathedral tours, live music and dancing and children’s activities throughout the entire weekend!
Brochhagen expressed, “We want people to come out and enjoy all the sights, sounds and aromas of GreekFest. Come out and make some new friends!”
For a complete list of festival activities, dates and times, visit indygreekfest.org.
Indianapolis GreekFest 2019 Steering Committee:
Chris Lafter, president – [email protected]
Ernie Mudis, vice president & food director – [email protected]
Nick Sofianopoulos, treasurer & finance director – [email protected]
Renee Brochhagen, secretary & marketing director – [email protected]
Gary Martine, cultural experience director – [email protected]
Stephanie Anderson, stewardship director – [email protected]