Jeffersonville, PA – The Philadelphia heatwave this weekend kept food a little warmer than expected at the St. Sophia Greek Festival. But when it came down to their guests having a great time the parishioners kept their cool. Warm smiles at every food counter welcomed you while on stage leaping Greek dancers showed off their ancestral moves with great pride.
It’s the welcome back season Greek Festival opener in the Delaware Valley. On their grounds, games, rides, a white tent and the latest update to their new church make for a rounded affair. “People come back to our festival for the food, but also to see our church which we continue to update. They love the new iconography and sense of solace”, said church board member Cathy.
Back in the church hall, the lamb shanks the festival is known for is all the rage. Every other tray we see is stacked with the tender meal. Behind the cafeteria style lines, young boys and girls wipe down trays as quickly as they come in. The long lines at dinner had guests looking around but just briefly. The parishioners had it all planned out. Tom Cox, one of the board members, stood by controlling the flow of traffic and directing their attention to the monitor of food photos and menu. In addition, all eyes turned to the stage every half hour to watch the dance troupe performances. Sister parishes, St. George and St. Luke even sent over troupes to help out.
Father Peter Thornberg of St. Sophia and dance instructor Carnation, were seen clapping and dancing along. Father Thornberg was so moved by his young flock, that he joined the dance line that traditionally circles the interior of the hall on the last dance.
Outside, a solo musician played live Greek music for the public that joined hands and danced. Vendors lined one end offering local business services, while souvlakia, loukoumades and all of the traditional street food we love from Greece was served at the other end. The four-day festival wrapped up on Sunday following church.