The 21st annual Greek Fest descends soon on Royal Oak, returning this year in full swing and expected to attract thousands after enduring limited, distanced and toned-down celebrations in recent years.
Happening Aug. 26 to 28 and Sept. 2 to 5 at the Greek Community Centre at 4648 Elk Lake Dr., the festival will allow Greek food and cultural fans to indulge in souvlaki, spanakopita, baklava, loukoumades and two long weekends of free entertainment. The festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. all seven days.
Attendees can enjoy libations courtesy of Hoyne Brewery and Arterra Wines, and should arrive with an immense appetite for authentically roasted lamb. The event will also bring back its Greek Heritage Project Museum and shine a light on some of B.C.’s most significant historical Greek figures.
“Personally, I like the feeling of community,” said festival entertainment director Jim Koutougos, whose heritage comes from Patras, Greece.
He anticipates attendance of roughly 20,000 at this year’s event. The festival drew more than 18,000 in 2021, making it one of the country’s largest annual Greek events.
Spotlight performances this year include those of Greek dance troupe Iykeion Ellinidon, which brings its members to Greater Victoria from various communities around Athens exclusively for this year’s Greek Fest.
“That took some searching and negotiating and jumping through hoops, but we got it done,” Koutougos said.
Bringing back the entertainment portion of the event in full this year has proved a struggle, he noted, but he’s pleased to see Greek Fest returning, rain or shine, to the same scale, intensity and spirit of cultural celebration it was pre-pandemic.
“In the case the rain gods should grace us with that, we have tents for our guests,” he said with a chuckle. “We’re all really looking forward to getting back in full swing.”
To learn more about the festival visit greekfest.ca or call 250-727-1580.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.