59.) Greek Oktoberfest Festival – Massillon – October 7, 2011

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I’ve been to many Oktoberfests in my day…

…but when I heard about a Greek Oktoberfest at St. George‘s in Massillon…

…I couldn’t help but get there early to check it out.

But before you get too excited with thoughts of pumpkin baklava or gyros topped with sauerkraut, let me first say that the only connection to the festival name was that it took place in October.

And since I can’t really imagine kraut on a gyro (well, maybe I can a little), I was pretty happy to visit this festival in true Greek festival form.

The basic setup was fairly typical…

…including an outdoor eating area…

…a convenient drive-thru…

…and the heart of the festival in the indoor dining area.

Surrounding the room, there were various stations to help submerge yourself into Greek culture…

…through books…

…music…

…religious gift shopping…

…photography (located in main lobby)

…auction bidding…

…and festival merchandise.

Once you felt Greek enough (or even if you didn’t), it was time to eat and there was plenty of food, also broken up into stations for your convenience.

The main line held dinners, sides and some ala carte items…

…while other stations had specialty items, like the baklava sundae – an ice cream sundae topped with crumbled baklava pieces.

There was also a gyro station…

…(which introduced me to the Greek pizza)…

…a nice dessert selection…

…Greek wines to taste…

…and a bar for your general beverage needs.

After looking over all the menus, I decided on some favorites of mine…
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…fried smelts and a piece moussaka (my favorite!).

Although the smelts were cooked outside, you were able to order them in the main line and one of the volunteers brought them out to me, freshly made. And when I paid for the food, another volunteer wasn’t satisfied with the piece of moussaka I was given and went in the back to get me a better-looking one.

In fact, everyone was really sweet at the festival. So sweet, that I couldn’t pass up on dessert (pardon the pun)…

…so I nabbed some delicious kourabiedes and galaktoboureko to finish my meal.

Of course, now I felt the need to walk a bit before getting back in the car for the next festival. I decided to take advantage of the festival’s hospitality and take a gander inside the church.

Thanks to a nice woman in the main office, I was allowed inside the church to check it out and take some photographs…

…and I’m so thankful I did…

…because the artful was really beautiful…

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…and breathtaking.

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4 Responses to 59.) Greek Oktoberfest Festival – Massillon – October 7, 2011

  1. Nick Lavidas says:

    They shouldn’t call it Oktoberfest. They are just trying to cash in on the German success story of Oktoberfest. It cheapens their event because it makes them look like marketers instead of people trying to preserve Greek Culture. Greeks should just have Greek Fests, and leave Oktoberfest to the Germans.

  2. Litsa Varonis says:

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. “Fest” comes to the English language through French, which got it from Latin “festivus.” So, even a “Greek Fest” is borrowing from its Indo-European neighbors. Whatever we call it, it is a wonderful celebration of our culture, including our religious heritage, which is featured through church tours, the bookstore, and the religious artifact section. We hope to see you there next year.

  3. Al Zimm says:

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