Wilmington, DE – “Our festival is the unofficial launch for summer,” said George Rassis, chair at the Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Indeed it is. Graduations and summertime dreams of vacations are certainly going through our heads right now, while shore points are prepping up. But in Wilmington Delaware this week, the party marches on. It’s festival season. With the Italian, Polish and other ethnic festivals to follow, the Greeks of Wilmington lead off the summer festivals, like they do when it comes to the Olympics opening ceremony.

On Tuesday, the parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church launched their 42nd annual Greek Festival, the biggest in the state. They open their doors and welcome everyone to share their community. Curbside service, live Greek music for five days, church tours, and a Greek Agora both inside and outside are all part of this event that has come to be a staple of the community. “It’s not just our festival, it also belongs to the city of Wilmington. It’s just as much theirs as ours”, added festival chair George Rassias.

The event brings together the whole neighborhood and people from around the state come out to sample and be part of this five-day cultural treat. One couple we met said they became engaged here 40 years ago. While others came for the first time. Another couple with their children in arms said, they come here every year to support their community and be part of this family event. Proving that this festival has a history, future and a great sense of belonging. What they experience is an overwhelming sense of a community and hospitality that Greeks are known for.

All ages of parishioners participate. This keeps the community united and shows a commitment to the future. Some festivals in the area have brought on caterers to host their affairs, and although their bigger, there is a connection and commitment to preserving a culture that gets lost. But people here are determined to preserve their Greek faith and culture. From booths to dancers everyone gets involved. Some have been here for 40 years, while others we saw were just children dancing. The church dance instructor told us she just arrived in this parish from Greece. We suspected that she by hearing her perfect Greek.

Ask anyone of the parishioners and they’ll tell you, they love being part of it all. It’s apparent that the Greek spirit and sense of Filotimo are alive and well here. Congratulations to this community as they continue on their path and are a beacon of the best Greek-Americans have to offer.

The Wilmington Greek Festival continues today and goes on through Saturday. For more information and attending the festival, visit them online at greekfestde.com.