What: Tucson Greek Festival
When: September 21 – September 24
Where: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 East Fort Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85719
Tucson, are you ready to get your Greek on? The annual Tucson Greek Festival is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited! The festival kicks off on Thursday, September 21 and runs through Sunday, September 24 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
If you’ve never visited the Tucson Greek Festival, prepare for a night of dancing, eating, and drinking like a true Greek. From melt-in-your-mouth souvlaki to warm loukoumades dripping in honey, the festival serves up all your favorite Mediterranean dishes (and maybe some you haven’t discovered yet!). Add a glass or two of Greek wine or beer and you’ll be dancing all night long.
The festival began 41 years ago as a fundraiser for St. Demetrios Church and was originally just a small picnic for community members, said Tucson Greek Festival Media Coordinator Anastasia Tsatsakis.
It gradually grew until it became the popular cultural gathering it is today, bringing in over 11,000 people every year.
The festival is family-friendly, with games, dancing, and an all-new expanded kids’ area. One of this year’s highlights is a raffle for an all-expense paid trip for two to Greece. Some other things to watch for are the local vendors selling arts and crafts, traditional Greek music performed by an energetic live band, and the popular baked goods table (baklava cheesecake, anyone?).
Although volunteers from the St. Demetrios congregation make up much of the labor force, the festival had to expand its outreach as it gained popularity, Tsatsakis said. Members of the Salvation Army and Davis-Monthan and Fort Huachuca military bases volunteer their time to help run the event.
Tucson Greek Festival begins Thursday, September 21 at 4 p.m. and will offer free admission for the day to anyone with a student ID. If you attend the University of Arizona football game Friday night, head to the festival afterwards and get in free with your game ticket stub!