This article is sponsored by Tampa Greek Festival.
The Greek Festival is one of the oldest cultural events in Tampa — and it’s a total immersion experience. Visitors dance, dine and shop within the rich history and community of Greece.
This year’s festivities run from November 9-11 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church 2418 West Swann Avenue. So, what happens at this event that spans more than 30 years?
Save room for Baklava
First and foremost, eat. The Grand Hall at the church will be brimming with traditional Greek dishes. I know you’re not supposed to eat dessert before dinner, but how can you say no to Baklava? The thick flakey confection is packed with sweetness and soaked in honey.
While you browse the most popular Greek dishes — get the lemon chicken — you can sip on traditional coffee, or a spirit-infused coffee cocktail. You’d do well to sample the slow simmered lamb shank or the coup de gras of all snacks, a giant gyro.
Sip on Greek cocktails in the party tent
Want to further immerse yourself in Greek culture? Head over to the OPA! Party Tent, described as a 5,000 square foot oasis.
John Demas and the Omega project will provide live music all weekend long. Dance groups from throughout the Tampa Bay area will put on an absolute clinic in the party tent and the Great Hall.
Wandering through the festival is like strolling through Old Town in Athens. At the massive Greek market you’ll find wearable Greek art, unique purses, Jerusalem wood, wooden puzzles and custom jewelry.
Hot Greek doughnuts in the kids zone
In addition to all of the adult festivities, there will be a kids zone where Loukoumades (hot Greek doughnuts) will be made and served. The kids zone will also feature arts and crafts, a bounce house, giant televisions and interactive games.
The Tampa Greek Festival is one of Hillsborough County’s oldest cultural celebrations. Established more than 30 years ago, the festival strives to bring its heritage, its Orthodoxy, and of course, its wonderful food to individuals from throughout Tampa Bay. It is one of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church’s biggest public fundraisers.
A true cultural immersion experience
The festival takes place on Friday, November 9 from 11am-10pm, Saturday, November 10 from 11am-10pm and Sunday, November 11 from 11am-6pm. General admission to the event is $2. Children under 12 enjoy free admission as do military with ID. Learn more by visiting the festival’s official website.