Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Los Angeles, California celebrated a taste of Greece with their 2010 Greek Fest "Eat! Dance! Live!", a toast to the Greek culture, as well as the Orthodox faith.
Tom Hanks was the special host for this event, with Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) stepping in for Rita Wilson who was out of town. Ian Gomez, Nia's husband, also joined the celebration.
3 days & nights of experiencing Greece! St. Sophia's had all types of wonderful events, including: Greek Dancing, Greek Dancing workshops,Greek cooking demonstrations,, and a theatrical presentation, to name a few!
St. Sophia's is located in the middle of the historical Byzantine Latino Quarter. In honor of the Latino culture... each night they would include Salsa music and dancing.
One might work up a pretty good appetite with all that dancing... Not to worry, there was plenty of food & drink to indulge in! This is a Greek festival and food is an important part of their culture; Dolmathes, Spanakopeta, Moussaka, not to mention the tantalizing pastries: Baklava, Loukaoumathes, the list could go on & on!
I was able to speak with Father John Bakas, the Dean at St Sophia's. With all that has been discussed about the Mosque at ground Zero I wondered what he thought about St.Nicholas Church & the delay of it's rebuild.. St Nicholas was a tiny Orthodox church in lower Manhattan that was destroyed on 911. Father John was empathetic to the plight of his brother's & sister's in lower Manhattan. Father John said,"When the passion's die down of the Mosque issue we hop we can get to the business of rebuilding the church was there... all we want is to rebuild what we had."
The Greek Culture encompasses family, friendship & the Eastern Orthodox Faith. All are welcome to the feast, whatever is served is shared... family style. OPA!!
"From all around the neighborhood, from all around the city , from all around the world... it's great to be Greek" Tom Hanks