Belmont Greek Festival Set for Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Fabulous Greek food, magical Mediterranean music, and colorful costumes will take center stage as the 43rd Annual Belmont Greek Festival comes to the central Peninsula on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, August 31, through Monday, September 2, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas (corner of Ralston Avenue), in Belmont.
Some 20,000 visitors are expected to flock to the three-day event to sample homemade Greek meals, luscious desserts, nonstop music, dancing, theater, and a children’s amusement area.
"We’re rolling out the welcome mat for everyone who wants to be Greek for a day," said Festival Chairman Michael Malekos.
"Our volunteers have been working for months preparing these delicious Greek dishes," Malekos said. "We use recipes that have been handed down for generations."
Some of the mouth-watering Festival menu items include barbecued lamb chops (with special Greek seasonings), souvlakia (Greek shish-kebab), spanakopita (spinach and cheese stuffed inside layers of filo pastry) and dolmades (grape leaves wrapped around ground beef and rice).
There will also be traditional homemade Greek pastries such as loukoumades (doughnut holes covered with honey), baklava (layers of nuts and filo pastry soaked in honey), kourambiedes (crescent-shaped butter cookies covered with powdered sugar) and galactobouriko (filo pastry filled with custard and covered with syrup).??
The band is always playing, so when they’re not eating, Festival guests can get up and dance or watch the award-winning folk dance groups perform in their colorful, hand-made costumes.
There is also an outdoor amphitheater, reminiscent of the theaters of ancient Greece, where children and adults alike will enjoy a not-so-tragic Greek mythology play, "The Wrath of Hades," and lively Greek folk songs performed by the Festival Chorus and Orchestra.
Children’s entertainer Andy Z will take to the amphitheater stage to present his award-winning show featuring imaginative songs, stories, dances and colorful characters.
The Fun Zone children’s area will offer games, rides, bouncy castles, crafts and more.
Tours of the award-winning Byzantine-style church, including the recently-installed mosaic iconography, will be given throughout the weekend, and the Holy Cross Choir will sing during the first church tour on Sunday.
Other festival highlights will include the agora (flea market), art, clothing, jewelry and gift boutiques, cooking demonstrations, religious icons and a bookstore.
The Church of the Holy Cross supports many charitable groups throughout San Mateo County, and each year, the church donates a portion of the festival proceeds to several local charities. Previous recipients of festival donations have included Samaritan House, Interfaith Network for Community Help (INCH), Children’s Advocacy Council, local schools and churches and the Belmont mayor’s choice of charity.
The hours of the Belmont Greek Festival are Saturday, August 31, and Sunday, September 1, from Noon to 10 PM, and Monday, September 2, from Noon to 8 PM. The Fun Zone for children and the agora (flea market) close at 6 PM all three days.
Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for seniors and youth ages 13-17. Children 12 and under are admitted free, accompanied by an adult.
For more information, keep exploring this website, or call (650) 591-4447.
How to Feed a Festival
The Belmont Greek Festival proudly makes all meals by hand using fresh, authentic ingredients. What does it take to feed our thousands of cherished guests?
The Festival by the Numbers . . .
600 lbs. filo pastry
420 lbs. butter
850 lbs. sugar
350 dozen eggs
more than 500 lbs of butter
a mere 210 gallons of honey
1500 lbs. chicken
1300 lbs. lamb (whole, chops & shanks)
1000 lbs. squid (kalamari)
600 lbs. flour
900 eggplants for moussaka
more than 500 lbs. of feta cheese, and too many lemons to count!
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