KubotaoftheOzarks

Greek Festival brings fun, food and fellowship together

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Fourth-century Greek philosopher Epicurus believed it was more important to look for someone to eat with before looking for something to eat.

Greek pastries crafted by some of the best cooks in the Spring area will be among the authentic foods available at the 2015 Festival at St. Thomas Church.

Greek pastries crafted by some of the best cooks in the Spring area will be among the authentic foods available at the 2015 Festival at St. Thomas the Apostle Church Friday through Sunday, Sept. 11-13.

That’s one reason the congregation at St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church in Springfield, Missouri, continues to hold its annual Greek Festival. The event will be held Friday through Sunday, Sept. 11-13, 2015.

“It’s our way of inviting the community to share our enjoyment of authentic Greek cuisine, pastries and drinks, and a party atmosphere where we all share tables under tents and enjoy the music and dancing on the church parking lot,” said Parish Priest Father Andrew Moore.

“Opa!”, the all-purpose exclamation of delight, can be heard numerous times during the Festival weekend hours, from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Noon-3 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission fee and plenty of free parking. The church is located at 4200 S. Holiday Ave., in southwest Springfield.

The food tent will feature a menu of entrees that includes souvlaki (marinated meat on a stick) and gyros (grilled meat, tomatoes and onions wrapped in warm pita bread with tzatziki, a cucumber/yogurt sauce) plus side dishes, pastries, Greek wine and beer and the always-popular baklava sundae.

 

Young dancers perform a  street dance together at the 2014 Greek Festival.

Young dancers perform a street dance together at the 2014 Greek Festival.

Festival-goers are invited to join in the native dances of Greece – the sirto, hasapiko, kalamatiano and hasaposerviko – and enjoy the mesmerizing rhythms of traditional music from the mainland and the islands. There will be inflatables for the kids and Father Moore will give brief overviews of the Orthodox faith in the church sanctuary. Greek memorabilia will be for sale in the agora (marketplace).

Epicurus, by the way, taught his students from his garden courtyard, that the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia (peace and freedom from fear), and aponia (the absence of pain), by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. Pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared; the gods neither reward nor punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.

For more information, call the Festival Hotline, 417-841-8586.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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