Stuff Yourself Like a Grape Leaf: Greek Festivals

Greek Fest_John Mindala_001

Church may bind them, but food makes it a joy to stick together. The Greek community on Long Island may be a tight-knit bunch, but you can share in the joy at one of Long Island’s many Greek festivals.

Everyone I interviewed for our  summer issue Ethnic Eats story on Greek food on Long Island pointed back to the Greek Orthodox church as the rock on which they anchor their boats. (Edible East End wrote a piece on the Hamptons festival.) Theodore Diamantis, owner of the successful (and very charming) grK Market in Merrick says even though Merrick is not a particularly Greek community, one of the reasons for the success of grK Market, he says, is church. “I’m close to three Greek churches, Holy Trinity in Hicksville, St. Demetrios in Merrick and St. Markella in Wantagh,” that, he says, plus the proximity to a Greek pizza and a gyros place, means the community comes to him.

You can stop in on grK Market year-round. But to get a flavor of the vibrancy of the Greek Long Island community (and stuff yourself like a happy grape leaf), summer and fall are the seasons of the Greek Festival. Virtually all the Greek Orthodox churches on Long Island have full-throated festivals of family, food and friendship that give you a taste of what it is like to be Greek on Long Island.

grK Market (516) 377-0488

Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons
July 10 – 13
111 St. Andrew’s Rd.
Southampton, N.Y.
Phone: 631-283-6169
Thursday, July 10, at 4-11 p.m.
Friday, July 11, at 4-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 12, at 4-11 p.m.
Sunday, July 13, at noon-9 p.m.

Church of Transfiguration of Christ
July 25 – 27
1950 Breakwater Road
Mattituck, N.Y. 11952
(631) 298-9652
Friday, July 25, at 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 26, at noon -11 p.m.
Sunday, July 27, noon-7 p.m.

Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption
August 21 – 24
430 Sheep Pasture Rd.
Port Jefferson, N.Y.
Phone: 631-473-0829
Thursday, August 21, at 5-10 p.m.
Friday, August 22, at 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, August 23, at 1-11 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, at 1-10 p.m.
Fireworks Friday & Saturday evenings at dusk

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
September 5 – 7
20 Field Avenue,
Hicksville, N.Y. 11801
(516) 942-5106‎
Friday, Sept. 5, at 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 7, at 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church
September 18 – 21
1 Shrine Place
Greenlawn, N.Y. 11740
Phone: (631) 261-7272
Times to be announced.

Archangel Michael Church
September 26 – 28
Port Washington, NY
(516) 944-3180
Times to be announced.


List of festivals compiled by Betsy Davidson.