Philadelphia, PA – A block away from the church the aromas of Greek food draw you into this classic event. It’s loud and bustling with people of all ages from the neighborhood nurses next door, to families pushes their baby carriages through the big black gate. St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Olde city is hometown church with giant white colossal white columns that evoke a great sense of pride.
Hungry for Greek food? Come on in and celebrate with the parishioners of this church that has been around since 1921. In the heart of historic Greektown, this party takes places every year. Greek Ouzo, beer and wine are in abundance as you sit down to enjoy your meal. Chicken platters, lamb shanks (a favorite amongst guests), pastitsio, souvlakia, and gyros are being sampled at every table where the Greek language is heard regularly.
In each corner of the parking lot, vendors share items from olive oil from Greece to arts and crafts, made by locals like George Gatsoulas. “I go to all the Greek festivals in the area, I love being around my people”, says Gatsoulas.
Greek music adds to the flavor of this family affair that unites this neighborhood for this four-day celebration. This Greek affair packs them into the small parking lot. No matter, the generations of people both attending and working the event sit side by side and mix it up. “This is where we learned our work ethic, this is where we grew up. By the age of ten we started working here to support our church”, says Eleni Pappas, one of the parishioners.
“What we really appreciate is the love the workers have for this church and preserving it. It’s a place that everyone feels connected to historically”, says Tony Beldecos, a lifelong member and President of the church. “And this year we had a lot of help from parishioners from other churches that came into work for our church and the greater community. That’s what it’s all about, supporting each other”.
The big celebration continues today at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Located at 256 S 8th St., it’s a perfect way to spend your Sunday with their family and yours.