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Opa! Greek Festival sheds light on Greek Orthodox culture in Oklahoma City

The Greek Festival in Oklahoma City at St. George Orthodox Church sheds light on Greek Orthodox culture with art, food and dance.
BY NASREEN IQBAL Modified: September 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm •  Published: September 16, 2012

Repeat guests as well as newcomers filled the church and a tent outside to eat, shop for custom-made Greek jewelry and watch children and young adults perform traditional Greek folk dances.

Kosta Bargeliotes, a festival volunteer who previously served as one of the church's board members, said he was raised going to St. George and believes that the festival helps bring church members together.

“This is more than just a three-day event. There's a festival committee that decides who should run what and where everything should go.

“There's a lot of preparation that goes on before the festival. We have Greek ladies making pastries in the church's kitchen weeks beforehand.”

Aside from the traditional baklava, popular desserts were kourambiethes, which are fluffy tea cookies made with butter and topped with powdered sugar.

“My favorite part was the spanakopitas,” Matthew Wilson, 11, said of the pie-like side dish that has a crisp buttery shell and is filled with spinach and feta cheese.

Wilson's parents, Terri and Matthew Wilson, are nondenominational Christians who learned about the festival by reading a flier at a Greek restaurant they visited in Moore.

“We like experiencing new things and learning about different cultures. So far it's been a lot of fun — the food and the atmosphere are great, and the people are friendly,” Terri Wilson said.