Ocean City Today

Four days of food, music and vendors at OC Greek Festival

By Kara Hallissey | Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Bob Chancler shows off his selection of extra-virgin olive oil during the Greek Festival at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street last year. The four-day festival, which begins today and continues until Monday is a fundraiser for St. George Greek Orthodox Church on 88th Street.

(July 28, 2017) Lamb shank, lasagna, moussaka, spanakopita, shish kabobs and gyros are just a few of the tasty dishes available during the 28th annual Greek Festival at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street this weekend.

The popular event begins today and runs through Monday, July 31, featuring traditional food, raffles, vendors and live music to benefit St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

“[Try] delish Greek cuisine, sumptuous pastries, dance Greek-style, beat the heat and [check out] the kids craft booth,” Festival Promotion, Volunteer and Raffle Coordinator Alexandra Hall, said. “The food is the big draw, then the live band, Greek dance performers, unique shopping and crazy-odds raffle.”

A smorgasbord of Greek dishes are the main attraction with choices such as half chickens, gyros, shish kabobs, grape leaves, Greek meatballs, spanakopita, oven roasted potatoes and baked lemon chicken.

Additional favorites include moussaka (eggplant and spiced ground beef topped with a béchamel sauce), souvlaki (marinated pork with pita), Greek salad and pastitsio, which is Greek lasagna that has two layers of macaroni with spiced ground beef and cheese topped with a béchamel sauce.

“The lamb shank is a definite favorite, cooked to perfection in a tomato base, [and] fall-off-the-bone-tender,” Hall said. “Veggie lovers really dig the stuffed zucchini and baked veggie medley.”

Sip on a Greek coffee while munching on a number of popular pastries including the famous baklava, rice pudding, assorted Greek cookies or try the loukoumathes, warm honey dipped pastry puffs sprinkled with cinnamon and ground nuts.

The pastry booth is run by members of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church Ladies Philoptochos and the desserts are all professionally made. Annual attendees make sure to buy enough desserts to stock up their freezers, Hall said.

All menu items will be offered starting at noon for dine-in or carryout.

In addition to the food, festivalgoers can shop for jewelry, art, clothing, music, imports, toys, and other unique treasures in the vendor booths.

After 5 p.m., Golden Flame will bring Greek sounds to the convention center for a night of dancing in addition to appearances from Greek dance performers. Greek music will be playing throughout the festival daily with live performances from noon to 2 p.m.

There is also a selfie photo opportunity where attendees can post Parthenon and Greek village backgrounds to their pictures online, Hall said.

Up to 6,000 people attend the only Greek Festival on Delmarva each year from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, New York and Washington D.C., Hall said.

Two raffles will take place at the event including its “Best Odds in Town,” which gives ticket buyers a 1-in-200 chance of winning a minimum of $5,000 and up to $10,000.

Tickets cost $100 each and only 200 will be sold. In addition, there is a chance to win $1,000. The cost is $5 for six tickets. Drawings will take place on Monday, July 31, around 8 or 9 p.m., though participants do not need to be present to win. Participants must be 18 or older.

New this year, those who cannot attend the festival can buy raffle tickets online at www.oceancitygreekfestival.com.

Don’t forget to pick up a complimentary festival program with informative tips and tidbits on Greek culture including Greek words, traditions and decorations of coins.

“The cover is full-color, glossy and suitable for framing [with a different Greek scene every year,]” Hall said.

All proceeds from the festival support the St. George Greek Orthodox Church’s community and ministry programs on 88th Street.

“All proceeds go to benefit St. George Greek Orthodox Church Ministries and Operation,” Hall said. “It’s a small church that hosts a big Greek Festival and most volunteers are parishioners.”

The 28th annual Greek Festival is free to attend and takes place today and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday and Monday, 12-9 p.m.

“It’s a great event to see and taste the Greek culture,” Hall said. “Come for the food, stay for the fun. It’s a family event, date night or for singles and really for anyone.”

Parking is free at the convention center, which is air-conditioned and handicap accessible. There is an ATM inside the building, and major credit cards will be accepted.

For more information, visit www.oceancitygreekfestival.com, check out Greek Festival Ocean City Maryland on Facebook or call St. George Greek Orthodox Church at 410-524-0990.

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