COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's the time of year again when all of us can be Greek for a week.
You'll once again be tempted with the most delicious food and desserts ahead of Columbia's 32nd Greek Festival which opens Thursday, Sept. 20. More than 160,000 visitors make this a yearly tradition.
From live music to traditional folk dances, you'll enjoy the Greek culture and traditions as you celebrate with food, desserts, and drinks.
You're invited to see the sanctuary through guided or self-guided tours. There are cultural exhibits in the main building, video presentations, and talks of Greek culture, history and heritage, and modern Greece. These are presented every hour each day throughout the festival. The iconographers are finishing their epic artwork in the cathedra during the festival. You can go see how they work and learn more about this amazing art form.
The Columbia Marionette Theatre has entertained families with the art of puppetry since 1988. The actors will perform the Tortoise and the Hare daily. You'll also get to enjoy live Greek music with the Nick Trivelas Band and the Aegean Duo, the Warriors of Greece, an elite unit of ancient Greek hoplite warriors dedicated to preserving the ideals and memory of brave Spartans and other Greek troops of 5th century BC. This year, don't miss the live battle re-enactment.
You'll get to take in Greek folk dancing throughout the festival beginning Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday. You're invited to the "Plaka," their town square. Dancers wear bright and beautiful authentic handmade costumes.
And, be sure to be part of a special time of honoring our United States military - both active and retired. That will take place Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.
Also worth noting, the Greek Festival gives away significant financial donations every year. Last year, thanks to the fantastic support of those who attended the event, the organizers were able to donate $10,000 to Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief Fund and an amazing total of $70,000 to other charities!
This year, a significant donation will be given to help with flood relief from Hurricane Florence that hit the Carolinas.
And a couple blankets will be auctioned off this year with the proceeds going to the Fisher House. The blankets are made out of the t-shirts from several years of the Greek Festival.
The festival hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. September 20, 21, and 22 and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 23. Admission is free! The 32nd annual Greek Festival is at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral which is at 1931 Sumter Street in downtown Columbia.
For more information, visit http://columbiasgreekfestival.com.