September 21 – 23, 2012
By: Lora Hendrickson
The Las Vegas Greek Festival celebrated its 40th year event, with authentic food, traditional music, and lively dancing. Citizens young and old were invited to the local St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church to be Greek for the day. The vibrancy of the local Greek culture estimated at 13,000 infuses itself into the tastes, the smells, the sights, and the sounds of the festivities. One organizer explained that by coming to the festival it was as if we were entering his home and he wanted to make sure that everyone had an enjoyable time.
The Greek Festival offered several salivating dishes to choose from. A gyro is lamb wrapped in a pita with tomatoes, onions and a cucumber sauce called “tzatziki.” Another heavenly dish is the “pastitsio” or Greek lasagna, which is, ground beef, pasta, and cheese compiled in alternating layers infused with cinnamon and nutmeg. Lamb was a highlight this year. A classic side dish is named “dolmades” or stuffed grape leaves. For dessert, there were handmade donuts called “loukoumades” made from a recipe that had been handed down for generations. Baklava, a kind of sweet pastry, was packaged up so patrons could take it home or eat it on the go. One could try “Ouzo” a popular licorice tasting liqueur from Greece that is sometimes referred to as “White Lightning” due to its potency. Mythos is the light beer that was served named in honor of Greek mythology.
The children’s corner had much to choose from including a rock climbing wall and pony rides. Attendees were entertained by original Greek music and dancing. All of the proceeds from the festival go to the Church.