September 30, 2009 > Greek Festival
By Suzanne Ortt
Photos By Courtesy of George Varvitsiotes
Do you dream of going to Greece? Save your dollars/euros! Sail instead to Castro Valley for a taste of Greece. Dock at the Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church and enter a festive land of music, dance and fun. Taste from a myriad of gastronomic treats, watch expressive dancing, and celebrate music with roots in the Greek sun.
"Over the past 38 years, CastroValley's Greek Festival is well known for its delicious mouth-watering authentic Greek food and desserts at affordable prices. Come for the Greek food and stay for the fun, dancing and entertainment. Our warm Greek never-ending hospitality awaits you!" says George Varvitsiotes.
Church grounds will be transformed into a Greek village for the Annual Festival. Visitors can shop at the expanded agora (market place), find dowry treasures, specialty foods, icons, clothing, and more. Sample the food; appetizers and pastries are available a la carte or to take home. Coffee and specialty beverages are nearby for those who are thirsty.
Among mezedes (appetizers and snacks) offered are souvlaki (marinated and BBQ kebabs), tiropita (cheese pie) and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). The taverna (bar) is the spot for quenching one's thirst. Greek beer, wine, and many specialty drinks are waiting.
Dinner choices, for $18, are roasted lamb or Greek chicken, plus pastitsio (a hearty casserole), Greek salad, Greek Style rice pilaf, green beans in a savory Greek tomato sauce, freshly baked bread, olives and feta cheese.
Drop by the Kafenion (coffee house) and Zaharoplastio (bakery) for coffee and pastries. Partake of baklava and galaktoboureko, distinctive Greek cookies, especially the popular loukoumades, and karidopita (honey soaked walnut cake). All appetizers and pastries are homemade by the parish bakers. One highlight is the baklava sundae, a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream topped with small bits of baklava and the famous honey-based syrup which delights everyone - children and adults.
Friday night, music will be played by a disc jockey. Saturday and Sunday will feature live music by the Greek band, Mythos. This band includes the sounds of the bouzouki, a stringed instrument heard in the Zorba the Greek theme song. Award winning dance troupes, in traditional costumes, will perform Saturday and Sunday. The outstanding "Sons of Ulysses" will amaze the audience on Saturday only. This troupe has table dancers, who dance while holding wooden tables in their teeth!
To increase the Greek experience, free dance lessons are given all weekend. Don't miss this opportunity!
Parishioners of the Greek Resurrection Church are eager to share the charm, cuisine, and excitement of their homeland, Greece. Additionally tours of the church will be given and information about the faith will be presented, if desired.
At the end of the day or night, sail away, basking in the glory of your visit to Castro Valley's Greece.
38th Annual Greek Festival
October 2, 3, and 4
Friday, October 2: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday, October 3: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, October 4: 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church of Castro Valley
20104 Center Street, Castro Valley
Phone (510) 581-8950
Free event admission. Dinner tickets are $18 at the door.
Free parking is available nearby at Creekside Middle School - Free shuttle provided.