Belmont Greek Festival Set for Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-4
Whether you’re “mad for moussaka” or “loco for loukoumades,” your culinary cravings will be fulfilled when the 47th Annual Belmont Greek Festival comes to the mid-Peninsula on Labor Day weekend, Sat., Sept. 2 – Mon., Sept. 4, at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 900 Alameda de las Pulgas (near Ralston Avenue), in Belmont.

Belmont Greek Festival hours are 12-10 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 12-8 pm on Monday, with free admission offered between 12 and 2 pm on Saturday and Monday.

Some 20,000 guests will visit the family-friendly festival over the three-day weekend, enjoying palate-pleasing Greek meals and pastries, marvelous music and dancing, a mythology play and children’s amusement area.

Among the delicious meals will be moussaka (layers of seasoned ground meat and eggplant topped with creamy béchamel sauce), dolmades (grape leaves wrapped around ground beef and rice), souvlakia (Greek shish-kebab), spanakopita (spinach and cheese stuffed inside layers of filo pastry), and pastitsio (layers of giant macaroni, ground meat, cheese, and béchamel sauce).

There will also be traditional homemade Greek pastries such as loukoumades (tender doughnut holes covered with honey), baklava (layers of nuts and filo pastry soaked in honey), galactobouriko (filo pastry filled with custard and covered with syrup) and kourambiedes (crescent-shaped butter cookies covered with powdered sugar).

“These are spectacular Greek dishes that many of us wouldn’t cook at home,” said Festival Co-chair Mary Clay, “because they’re very time-consuming and labor-intensive.”

“Our volunteers have tremendous expertise, and they spend hours and hours preparing the food. They use fresh, all-natural ingredients and family recipes that have been handed down for generations,” Clay said.

Along with the fabulous Greek food, guests 21 and over will want to try the delicious Greek wines specially selected for the festival, including several available at a wine tasting bar. Plus, there will be Greek beer and liquor such as the anise-flavored Ouzo aperitif and fine Metaxa brandy.

Festival guests will enjoy continuous entertainment on two large stages. At the main stage, they can dance to exciting music by a popular Greek band and also watch lively folk dance groups perform in their colorful, hand-made costumes.

At the outdoor amphitheater, reminiscent of the theaters of ancient Greece, children and adults alike will delight in a Greek mythology play, as well as traditional Greek folk songs performed by the Festival Chorus and Orchestra, and crowd-pleasing cooking demonstrations.

Award-winning children’s entertainer Andy Z will take to the amphitheater stage to present his sensational songs, stories, and colorful characters.

The Fun Zone children’s area will offer games, rides, bouncy castles, crafts and more. Please note that the Fun Zone closes at 7 pm.

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 sacred hymns during the first church tour on Sunday.

Other festival highlights will include the agora (flea market), art, clothing, jewelry and gift boutiques, and a bookstore featuring numerous publications and religious icons. The agora closes at 6 pm.

The proceeds of the festival support the many ministries of Holy Cross Church, as well as monetary donations made to local organizations including: Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo County; Samaritan House, San Mateo; Bay Area Cancer Connections, Palo Alto; Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation; and My New Red Shoes, Redwood City.

Admission is free between 12 and 2 pm on Saturday and Monday. At other times, 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.

Guests may print a $1 off admission coupon available at this link.

For more information, keep exploring this site, visit our Facebook page, send us an email, or call (650) 591-4447. Yassou!

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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