Greek Influence on the Culture of New Orleans
Every year on Memorial Day Weekend, the New Orleans Greek Festival celebrates Greek culture and heritage with traditional food, music, performances and fun for kids and adults alike. This is a great opportunity for the solo traveler to get a taste of a specific aspect of New Orleans culture and heritage.
New Orleans' connection with Greece dates back to the mid-1800s when large numbers of Greeks immigrated here, bringing along their storied culture and traditional heritage. The Greek Festival celebrates that culture and heritage every year on Memorial Day Weekend at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Come to this festival hungry
Vendors will be selling succulent, slow-roasted rotisserie lamb, seasoned with Greek spices; gyro sandwiches; feta fries; strips of crispy, fried calamari; hefty goat burgers; sweet baklava sundaes (a local favorite); and homemade Greek pastries.
Petite Greek appetizers, called "meze," will be available for sample in the festival’s Greek Grocery. The delicacies are based on traditional recipes, prepared by hardworking volunteers, and include zatziki — a light yogurt and cucumber dip, chickpea salad, stuffed grape leaves called dolmas, olives and soft pita bread. And since meze is often enjoyed with wine or an ouzo aperitif before dinner, the festival will pour a refreshing Dionysian Delight Wine Spritzer — a blend of Greek wine and soda water over ice.
A traditional “Greek dinner” is comprised of pastitsio (Greek lasagna), tiropita (flaky phyllo dough, stuffed with melted cheese), kieftethes (meatballs), and dolmas, along with salad and a roll. Vegetarian plates are also available.
If you always wanted to learn how to cook Greek food, you can learn how to make Mediterranean treats at cooking demonstrations in the Greek Grocery.
Other Greek Fest Activities
In addition to sampling Greek cuisine, guests can shop for Hellenic jewelry and clothing items in the market, or rent canoes and go for a ride on the bayou. The Hellenic Dancers and The Levendes, a band from Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, will perform throughout the weekend. Tours of Holy Trinity Cathedral, the oldest Greek Orthodox church in the Americas, are scheduled.
A soft opening will occur on Thursday May 23, 2019 from 5-9pm. Tickets to this “early bird event” will be sold for$5 and regular daily admission will be $8 at the gate. In previous year, festgoers who arrive in a toga on a pre-specified day are admitted free. For more information as it becomes available, check out The NOLA Greek Fest website here!
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