Ocean Township:This past weekend the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, located at 1033 West Park Ave, held the first Greek Festival at the newly constructed facility. The last Greek Festival held by this congregation took place in Asbury Park nearly 15 years ago.
Participants could be “Greek for a day” by eating traditional Greek foods such as: lamb, goat, Moussaka, Pastichio, Baklava, and Galatombouriko. All of the foods were hand made by event organizers and volunteers. In addition to the variety of freshly prepared foods, this rain or shine event highlighted authentically clad dance troupes and live music from which could be heard throughout Greece.
In addition to food and dancing, festival goers were encouraged to take a tour of the Church. There they would learn about iconography and the importance of symbols used throughout the facility. This “village style layout of the church lends itself to a warm and inviting atmosphere” that the Greek community is proud to share with the Ocean Township community.
Before leaving, everyone in attendance was encouraged to shop in the Greek boutique, which featured Greek jewelry, icons, and other hand-made Greek specialty items.
Admission for the event was $2.00 per person with children under 6 admitted for free with a portion of the gate admission being donated to local charities in Ocean Township. It is estimated that this event drew close to 5,000 people of the three-day event.
Chairmen, George Moutis and Public Relations Representative, Marissa Costidis helped to organize and publicize the event hoped that this event would promote both the church while inviting the public to be part of the Greek community. It should also be noted that due to the location of the new facility and the need for a traditional Greek Church, this congregation has grown by over 20% in the past two years. Such growth is exciting and challenging at the same time. That is why an event like this is necessary to establish and build a firm relationship with the Ocean Township and Monmouth County Communities.