Monday, June 6th, 2016

Friday, June 10 Through Sunday, June 12: BIG GREEK FESTIVAL Opens in Randolph

The 46th Annual BIG GREEK FESTIVAL kicks off in Randolph on Friday, with a soft opening for lunch and a formal  opening ceremony at 4:45 p.m. Friday.

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Souvlaki is a traditional favorite at the Big Greek Festiva

This year, as at each celebration, thousands of visitors to Big Greek Festival from throughout Morris County will depart the St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church grounds after learning how Greeks seek to preserve the character and ties to Greek culture in a classic way — by bringing together a handful of key ingredients central to a characteristic Greek community gathering:

– Fresh, hot off the grills dishes and homemade bakery delicacies
– Live Greek music and entertainment
– Traditional Greek folk dancing
– Traditional Greek wines and liquors
– Family friendly fun including for younger children

A variety of state, county and local dignitaries will be on hand on Friday for the opening ceremony, including Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr.,  Morris County Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo and Doug Cabana, Randolph Mayor Roman Hirniak, and Randolph Councilmembers Joanne Veech and Dan Kline, and Roxbury Councilman Rich Zoschak.

dancing3-0x500Planning for the event involves thousands of combined hours invested in preparing for the visitors who travel to be immersed in the distinctively cultural experience.

This year’s menu at the Taverna introduces a Greek hamburger, seasoned with oregano, salt and pepper, and topped with feta cheese. Expanding dessert offerings, as a new offering, visitors can sample Greek yogurt topped with honey and walnuts. Visitors also can get grilled and other specialties freshly made on the spot.

Youth from throughout the northeast participate in the Greek Orthodox Youth Association (GOYA) dance troupe. With their quick steps, twists and turns, the young dancers are adept at drawing visitors to their feet to join in the fun. Added to this year’s schedule are outside presentations of Greek youth dancing in the Taverna.

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Loukoumathes — fried dough with honey and cinnamon

The venue is particularly family friendly, with activities specifically for children. Adults and kids can get a contemporary take on the traditional Agora shopping marketplace, viewing handicrafts and trades presented by all types of vendors.

Of special interest are church tours, which reveal the talent and craftsmanship and intricate detail that bring colorful icons and wood carvings, and bright and colorful glass windows to life.

On Friday, regular evening festivities run from 5-11:30 p.m. Hours on Saturday, June 11, are 12 noon to 11:30 p.m.; Sunday also opens at noon to 8 p.m.

A downloadable coupon for free admission is available at www.BigGreekFestival.com, as well as a parking directions, menus, up-to-date schedule, and more.

Big Greek Festival is available via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/biggreekfestival and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/greekfestivalnj