The 27th annual Greek Festival kicked off early this year to make way for a busy fall football schedule in Oklahoma.
The festival started Friday at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in northwest Oklahoma City and runs through Sunday. The festival is about a month earlier than usual this year because Oklahoma football teams have packed October schedules, volunteer Jimmy Chiconas said.
“We made a change and we're loving it,” Chiconas said Friday.
But the date isn't the only change at the festival. A new dinner menu includes lamb, chicken and pastichio, a Greek form of lasagna. Visitors can also enjoy the traditional array of Greek food, like gyros and baklava. The festival also features music, dancing, children's activities, church tours and art.
The festival began as a mere bake sale in the church basement when the church was still in downtown Oklahoma City. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event this year.
The festival is a gathering for both the church and the community at large, Chiconas said. “It's just our way of reaching out to the community and sharing our culture,” he said. “It's just a matter of showing pride in what we do and who we are.”