Valley Forge, PA – I asked John Pogas one of the parish member and volunteers at the St. Sophia Greek Festival what he loves about coming out all weekend and working the staggering hours, donating his time and effort. He summed it up in a few simple words,”Camaraderie amongst fellow Greeks and parishioners”. He didn’t have to think twice, blink or even take a deep breath before answering. It’s really that simple.
There’s a love of community and kinship that’s very evident here that makes this community and their festival a special family affair. Smiling faces line every booth while a classic looking Greek Bouzouki player welcomes you to the main tent, with grin and tune. The sweetest Yiayias serve you the sweets and authentic looking Greek men work the souvles to order. It’s a labor of love and consistency that continues to build as tradition. With that tradition in mind, the dance troupe is also building and growing says Carnation Karos, dance instructor at St. Sophia. Every few hours, the church dance troupes performed dances from all over Greece and then went on to help serve the food throughout the day. Built just a little over a year ago, St. Sophia continues to be a growing presence both locally and inside the Greek community. The dance troupe has now doubled in size. There are two dance troupes (both junior and senior) now with 18 members in each and are part of the foundation that has established a growing presence in the church.
Beautiful grounds, a unique Byzantine church and tour, food, dancing and endless games for the kids make this a special event with a Greek flavor like no other in the Delaware Valley. When ever I leave St. Sophia of Valley Forge, the shining Cross on the hill is the last thing I see. It’s beaming, golden rays remind me of the magic and warmth of it’s people and keep me coming back for more.
From Cosmos Philly, congratulations to the volunteers, families and friends and all those who help make this event and their church a wonderful place.