Orange County’s 38th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 24-26 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church (4949 Alton Parkway, between Culver Drive and Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92604).
More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine and pastries, wine tasting, live music, church tours, authentic Greek dancing with lessons, and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens.
Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 24; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 25; and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. Festival admission is just $3 per person, with free admission on Saturday, June 25 from noon – 5 p.m. for seniors 65 years and older.
Children under the age of 10 are admitted free (with parents or an adult) throughout the three-day festival. Free festival parking will also be available, with complimentary shuttle buses transporting guests from public parking sites in Irvine.
Greek cuisine and hospitality will be the focal points as the festival will feature authentic recipes for traditional Greek dishes, delicious pastries and a variety of beverages, highlighted with a wine “Taverna,” offering Greek wine and beer.
The traditional Greek menu will include Chicken, Lamb Chops, Greek French Fries, Gyros, Pastichio (Greek lasagna), Loucanico (Greek sausage), Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Saganaki (Greek brandy-flamed cheese), Loukoumathes (Greek doughnut holes), Greek Salad, Calamari and more. There will also be a Greek coffeehouse set up by Portola Coffee Lab to serve Greek and American coffee drinks in a traditional Plaka setting.
The Philoptochos, the church’s philanthropic group, will bake around the clock during the weeks leading up to the festival to prepare traditional Baklava and other exquisite pastries.
“As Orange County’s largest Greek Orthodox congregation, we are delighted to host a festival that offers an opportunity for the community to experience authentic Greek dining, wine, music, dancing and entertainment,” said Father Steven Tsichlis, Pastor at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church.
“This year’s festival, our 38th annual, will offer something for everyone with a variety of Greek-themed activities, and tours of the Church to view the beautiful sanctuary that contains Christian artwork done in mosaic patterned after ancient prototypes that are unique in Orange County.”
A family-friendly affair, the festival will offer free Greek dance lessons throughout the weekend, and also feature boutique shops, a variety of games and a full-scale carnival.
Event attendees can also enter an opportunity drawing for the chance to win one of five premiere prizes, including $1,500 cash, a 60” HD Smart TV, iPad AIR 2, $500 Disneyland Gift Card and Men’s or Ladies’ S2 GPS Approach Golf Watch.