The fourth weekend of July is the time to experience a taste of Greece! Greek Fest will be held Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24. Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. both days at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 108 N. Fifth St., Rockford. This is an annual Rockford ethnic festival that offers the community an opportunity to taste authentic Greek food, listen and dance to Greek and American music, watch the internationally-known Olympian Dancers while enjoying beverages from the “taverna,” and feasting on delicious homemade Greek pastries from the bakery.
Visitors are also welcome to join the guided church tours at the church to learn about the Orthodox faith and appreciate the collection of Byzantine iconography. The famous “agora” (marketplace) offers a variety of gifts including jewelry, clothing, books, CDs, artwork and more. Kids can have their faces painted and join in craft activities and games. Raffle tickets for chances to win up to $4,000 will also be sold. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Rock River Valley Pantry and The Evelyn Alexander Scholarship Fund.
The church at the corner of East State and Fifth streets contains a microcosm of Greek history. Decades ago, many Greek immigrants came to Rockford in search of “the American Dream,” bringing with them a wealth of ethnic traditions and customs. At the center of this culture is their Orthodox faith, where food and the most ancient expressions of Christianity are beautifully intertwined. The church members believe eating good food with family and friends is an especially rewarding part of their ethnic identity. Help them celebrate the heritage that continues today. It’s an event the whole family can enjoy!
From the July 20-26, 2011 issue