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Tampa Greek Festival is one of the best food and cultural events in the city

a plate of Greek donuts covered in honey

The Tampa Greek Festival is one of the longest-running cultural events in Tampa — and it’s a total immersion experience. Visitors dance, dine, and shop within Greece’s rich history and community. This year’s festivities run from Friday, November 3 through Saturday, November 4 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church (2418 West Swann Avenue). So, what happens at this event that spans more than 40 years?

First and foremost, eat. The Church’s Grand Hall brims 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.

Fresh baklava at Tampa Greek Fest
a dancer performs in the center for a venue. He leaps into the air and taps his heel
Enjoy cultural performances during the event

While you browse the most famous Greek dishes — get the lemon chicken — you can sip on traditional coffee, or Mythos beer, a Greek favorite! You’d do well to sample the slow simmered lamb shank or the coup de gras of all snacks, a giant gyro.

Greek Bouzouki band John Demas & the Omega Project will provide live music all weekend long. St. John’s Glendi Dance Groups’ of every age, from swirling adults to adorable littles, will put on an absolute clinic in the Great Hall.

Wandering through the festival is like strolling through a lovely Greek village – experience “The Bakaliko,” a neighborhood market featuring traditional grocery items straight from the old country as well as fine Mediterranean merchandise.

rolled baklava treats covered in a honey and cinnamon
A group of Greek performers

Explore the Orthodox Bookstore with its ancient icons, religious books, gifts, and jewelry — many handcrafted by Orthodox monks and nuns.

Discover inner peace while listening to an outstanding choir performance of ancient Orthodox hymns within the warm embrace of the Church’s colorful Byzantine architecture.

Then, finish the night with Loukoumades, – freshly made Greek doughnuts while the little ones romp in the Children’s Play Zone, featuring arts and crafts and lots to do!

The Tampa Greek Festival is one of Hillsborough County’s oldest cultural celebrations. Established more than 40 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 St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church’s only fundraiser and one that allows them to donate a. generous portion of the proceeds to multiple, local charities.

The festival takes place on Friday, November 3 from 4pm-10pm, Saturday, November 4 from 11am-10pm. General admission to the event is totally free! Donations are always accepted and can be made online or at the event.

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