Next month, July 7 through 9, the St. John’s Greek Festival will return for food, pastries, and Greek traditions. The event has been a mainstay annual event in Blue Point for the past 40 years.
In addition to gyros, spanakopita, moussaka, pastitsio, Greek salad, oven-roasted lamb and more, the women’s organization, called Philoptochos, will be using homemade family baking recipes for a variety of pastries, including everyone’s favorite baklava, as well as galaktoboureko. There will also be iced Greek frappe coffee. Another crowd favorite is their famous loukoumades, a hot, fresh, fried-dough pastry topped with honey syrup. Beer and wine, including varieties imported from Greece, are also available.
Fr. Dean Panagos and dozens of volunteer church members will put in a lot of work over the three days.
“We are excited to be back this year with St. John’s Festival and to give the community a taste of the best in Greek food, fun, and Greek culture,” said Panagos. “Our women’s organization works for weeks preparing delicious homemade pastries from family recipes, and we have a variety of traditional Greek dishes, [so] everyone in the family will find something to love.”
The gyros and loukoumades, he said, are a fan favorite, and people come from all over to get them.
In addition to the food and dessert, there will be live Greek music, rides and games, and over 20 vendors showcasing clothing, jewelry, Greek items and more for shopping. You can also win up to $10,000 when you purchase a St. John’s mega raffle ticket—only 500 tickets will be sold and multiple prizes awarded!
The church itself was founded in Blue Point in 1953, and is celebrating over 70 years in service this year. The naming of the church took place on Oct. 4, 1953, at a huge celebration attended by over 300 people. It was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
The church is currently in the first phase of a multiphase renovation that is needed that requires $500,000 to be raised for the small parish. The first phase includes critical repair work to the church’s exterior stucco to prevent damage to the structure and interior Byzantine iconography, as well as new air conditioning units and bathroom renovation. Donations can be made through the parish’s website at www.stjohnsbluepoint.org.