So you want to smash some plates and yell "Opa!" eh? Well you're in luck. Greek Fest is back for its 30th year and is looking better than ever. But there's so much more than drunken cheers and the breaking of crockery. Here are some by-the-numbers deets on what it takes to make this Halifamous event.
how many people are expected to attend the four-day festival
the cost of putting it on
how much the festival needs to profit in order to break even for their year of programming, like the operation of the Greek school
number of students at said Greek school
it took to outgrow its original space in the Orthodox church's downstairs hall—the event now occupies over 20 outdoor tents
pork souvlaki skewers will be sold over the festival's four days
of Greeks who know the steps to that dance. It's practically in their blood
number of Greek Plates that will be eaten. It's a "best of" plate of all the Greek delicacies, including moussaka, spanakopita, potatoes, tzatziki and more. Wear elastic-waisted pants, people
how many chicken pitas will be sold
the age of the traditional dance, the kalamatiano. (Yes, it's that stereotypical Greek dance you're imagining in your head right now.) It's a winding dance done in a circle, going forward and backward holding the hands of your neighbours. There'll be impromptu lessons throughout the weekend, so come with your dancing shoes
how far the house band, the appropriately named Poseidon, travels each year from Ottawa
it takes to make a single souvlaki stick, from cubing the locally sourced pork to hand-skewering to seasoning to grilling
How to Greek Fest like a pro:
• Take a tour of the church and grounds. The archbishop of the Canadian Greek Orthodox Church has described the property as the nicest of the community's 72 churches.
• If you have kids: come around 1pm when there are plenty of other rugrats running around to keep your kid occupied so you can kick back and relax with some grub.
• If you don’t have kids: come around 4pm to beat the supper lines and avoid the kids. Fewer kids running around = less beer spilled.
• If you want to get in on the plate-smashing fun hang around later on in the evening on Saturday and Sunday. Word has it, that’s when the good times roll.
Moussaka is pronounced MOO-se-ka. Kind of like ‘Jessica’ but with a different beginning.
Spanakopita is pronounced spa-na-KO-pita
Thank you: efcharisto (the cha is a “ ha" sound)
How are you: ti kanis?
Opa is used but if you want to fit right in, say “Gia Mas” (pronounced ya mas) is the English equivalent of “Cheers!” and means, “To our health!”
Halifax Greek Fest
St. George's Greek Orthodox Church 38 Purcells Cove Road
$5/$8 (weekend), greekfest.org