SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Sioux City’s Greek Fest is going on 22 years serving Siouxlanders delicious foods and giving an inside look at Greek culture.
“It is important to carry on our culture,” Greek Fest Co-Chair Andrea Konidas said.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox is home to Greek Fest. It’s an annual showcase of Sioux City’s Greek community and culture.
“We’ve got gyro, we’ve got lamb chops, we’ve got spanakopita, dolmades, pastitsio, we’ve got all the baked goods downstairs that the ladies make,” Konidas said.
“We say everything here is made with butter and love,” Greek Fest Volunteer Maria Shults said.
The delicious treats are only part of the festival. Traditional dancing and live music filled downtown Sioux City.
“My daughters used to dance in it and now this year my granddaughter is dancing in it,” Orthodox Church member Julie Konidas said.
Folks could also take a church tour. For Sioux City’s Greek orthodox community, their church is their second home.
“It became a cultural center for the Greeks that came over from Greece. So the first part of who we are as a Greek Orthodox community in Siouxland was preserving, having a place for the Greeks to go. The Greeks were persecuted, even as close as Omaha there were riots that drove people here to Sioux City to be safe and to gather together as a community,” said Father Luke Melackrinos.
And each generation is taught the importance of preserving their culture.
“We feel like we’re honoring our ancestors. I’d say 99 percent of our ancestors came from Greece and this is our way to honor them with their recipes, with the culture, with everything they taught us,” Shults said.
“There’s about 70 families that put on something like this, and it is hard. And you just think back when we were little kids, we were there alongside our parents while they were doing this. And we just have to keep it going,” Greek Fest Co-Chair Leah Bariatakis-Pike said.
For more information on this weekend’s Greek Fest, click here.