Trivia question. Do you know what it takes to make the approximately 100,000 pastries you can find (and eat) at the Yiasou Greek Festival? Time’s up! A mind-boggling 5,845 eggs, 3,640 pounds of sugar, 1,400 pounds of butter, 1,925 pounds of flour, 1,350 pounds of phyllo and 1,270 pounds of walnuts. OMG! And that’s just the beginning of the food and drink you can find at this four-day festival this weekend Sept. 7-10. Don’t pass on these food and wine gems.
No need to head for the hills of California to find your next wine love, get your wine tasting on at the Greek festival. Greece is one of the oldest wine producing places on the planet so they’ve got vino down. Pull up a chair and learn about the different variety of grapes and find a new favorite to enjoy at home.
Eating (and being Greek) is too good to only last one day. Watch a cooking demo and learn from some of the best Greek cooks in the community. Demos will be in the cultural center in the upper level on Thursday, September 7 a noon, Friday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. Grab a cookbook so you can wow your friends and family. You can also visit the Greek pantry (Bakaliko) and stock your kitchen with essentials like dolmades, Kalamata olives, fine cheeses, coffee and more.
How will you dine?
What would the Yiasou Greek Festival be without food? We don’t know and we sure don’t want to find out. For four glorious days you can enjoy authentic Greek food any way you’d like. You can be part of a sit-down meal inside the Father C Hall or get a la carte items under food tents outside. No time to stop in? Hit the drive thru and become the hero of your house when you walk through the door with everyone’s favorite dish. (We will have the Greek pizza and Gyro please.)
No need to let all that butter, sugar, eggs and other perfect ingredients go to waste. Dig into baklava (by itself or in a sundae, there’s no way to go wrong here), loukoumades, cookies, cakes and more. After everyone is done mmmm-ing and ahhhh-ing over the sweet treats, burn off the energy in the kids section with rides, face painting and more or hop on stage and join the dancers. There’s so many ways to have fun at one of Charlotte’s favorite festival.
Changing of the guard
And don’t miss the Evzones who will reenact the ceremonial changing of the guard Saturday, September 9 at 11:50 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 6 p.m. Or see them Sunday, September 10 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Revel in the the pageantry, ceremony and the uniform that consists of the kilt-like foustanella, which has 400 pleats to represent 400 years of Turkish occupation and red leather clogs, which weigh over seven pounds. Wow!
Put the Yiasou Greek Festival at the top of your food, wine and dessert “must do” list. You won’t be disappointed, but you will be full.