What started as a small, local festival to raise building funds for a new parish has blossomed into the largest cultural event in Northwest Georgia. Jim Niarchos, board member of the Marietta Greek Festival joins co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick on today’s Around Atlanta segment of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio to talk about this “big, fat, Greek festival.”
Kicking off at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 19 and running until 6 p.m. on Sunday May 21, the Marietta Greek Festival is bringing the sights, sounds and flavors of Greek culture to Georgia. Niarchos explains that the event has been growing since its inception in 1990 when it was hosted at the Cobb County Civic Center. Now, the festival takes place on the grounds of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, which includes a brand new $7 million building.
Niarchos said that thousands of people pour through the festival gates, and the church works hard to ensure efficiency and a family-friendly environment. Guests park for free at one of three nearby parking lots and take a free shuttle to the entrance. Admission is $5 per person, and guests 12 and under get in for free.
Once inside, people can visit the Agora, a large shopping area filled with vendors. They can purchase ready-to-eat, homemade Greek food and watch demonstrations on how to prepare these treats. They can even buy take-out meals and ingredients to make the dishes from the on-site Greek grocery. Children can run around inside the kids’ area and do face-painting, sand sculpture and more. Two Greek orchestras will play on each of the two festival levels, and 140 costumed dancers will perform throughout the weekend. In addition, the church offers tours of the iconography and art inside the Byzantine structure. Niarchos said the tours are incredibly popular.
In the first two hours of the festival, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, admission is free. To learn more about the big, fat, Greek festival, listen to today’s episode and visit the website, or call the festival hotline at 770-924-8080.
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