Tallahassee runs several annual culturally themed festivals. Though I missed the Tallahassee Jewish Festival by a few weeks, I was able to catch the annual Greek Food Festival last November, which allowed to me to visit what I’ve been told is one of the more interesting churches in Tallahassee – the Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church.

First, the festival. You got to hand it to the Greek people, they have amazing food. Since during my stay in Tallahassee I was mainly surrounded by Turkish folks, I’m well aware of some of the cultural debates regarding what food belongs to which culture, but setting that aside – the food from that region nothing short of heavenly. Gyro, Baklava, Moussaka, Souviaki, and the classic tzatziki and Greek salads are just some of the basic dishes that I grew up with.

But, the Greek Food Festival isn’t all about food, it has musical and cultural events as well…

 

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

 

Someone took the trouble to start a Wikipedia page for the event and explain :

As in many Greek festivals in the U.S., this festival is part of Tallahassee’s diversity of cultures. The goal is to give the community a taste of Greek food, Greek music, Greek culture, Greek dancing, and entertainment. At Greek Festivals you will typically find Greek gourmet food, Greek folk music – usually performed by Greek bands, cultural exhibitions including artifacts from Greece and dances performed in costumes of old tradition, and dancing for the public under Greek tunes. It is a community-building event for the parish.

 

If you’re curious about the church, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta is one of the only source of information :

In 1925, John Camechis, a Hellene from the island of Patmos, was the first documented Greek living in Tallahassee. Within the next few years other Greeks from Patmos had settled in and around Tallahassee. These immigrants were Orthodox Christians, but there were no Orthodox churches nearby at that time. Greek Orthodox priests from Pensacola and Jacksonville would periodically drive in to conduct liturgies, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. To maintain ethnic and social ties, the Greek men formed a chapter of the Order of Ahepa in 1932. While this promoted fellowship, it did not substitute for the lack of a nearby Orthodox church.

In 1962, some 34 individuals banded together with the common goal of establishing a Greek Orthodox parish in Tallahassee. They petitioned the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America for permission to organize a parish. This was granted on February 4, 1962 and on April 26 the Archdiocese formally granted a charter to the new community. During the interim, the community met for Sunday services at Kate Sullivan School and later at the Tallahassee Federal Bank. For weekday needs the Holy Comforter Episcopal Chapel was used. As funds were raised, an architect, Nick Fallier, was hired and construction of the church began. The edifice and hall were completed on September 5, 1965 at a cost of $60,000. The new complex was dedicated as The Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church.

 

 

 

This is what you can expect to see going in…

 

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

 

But how can you have a food festival with no food? Here you are…

 

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee Greek Orthodox Church & Greek Food Festival 2012: Tallahassee

 

The festival is usually held in mid-October. I won’t make it to the next ones, but if you’re in Tallahassee you definitely should…



Tags: Greek culture; Greek food; Greek Food Festival; Greek music; Greek Orthodox Church; Holy Mother of God; tallahassee;


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