The Greek community in Hawaii is a very spirited bunch. They would have to be if when tough times arise, one of their best remedies is to dance. There must have been quite a bit of dancing over the past year, as the desire to carry on the 30-year tradition of the Greek Festival which was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Aug. 11, 2010 was in jeopardy after many of the elder statesmen decided 2010 would be their last year. Yet, after much debate and an outpouring of support, members of St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific made the decision to carry on the tradition of the Greek Festival Aug. 27 and 28 at Ala Moana’s McCoy Pavilion.
“We held a parish meeting, and it was a close vote but the majority wanted the festival to continue. We had to find new booth chairs to replace some folks, but some of our younger members have stepped up to the plate and taken on the responsibility,” says Greek Festival co-chairman Chris Mann.
Particularly, recent college graduate Lucien Saikevych will now head the Taverna booth, which will sell wines, beers, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages at the festival. Maria Striebich will operate the salad booth, which this year will feature a refreshment of watermelon with feta cheese.
“This is going to be a really nice transition; we are not going to second guess their decisions or get in their way. I am excited for them because it will give them an opportunity to cut their teeth a bit,” adds Mann.
Mann and many of the members of the Greek Festival board have realized that it isn’t important to out-succeed previous festivals, but that in general, it is all about serving the community and their faith. Speaking about the organization of this year’s festivities, Mann says, “Let’s just take it a step at a time and put it in the hands of the Lord. It is all on his time. It is not on ours, as much as we think we can control.”
As it is all coming together, guests at the festival will be able to enjoy souvlaki and bakalava, as well lively music and dance from musicians Fotia, Sotos Kappas and the Nisiotes Dancers. For more information call 521-7220 or visit greekfestivalhawaii.com.
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