Every year, Arlington’s St. Athanasius Greek Orthodox Church puts on a festival to celebrate Greek culture: its food, music and dance, religion, and fashion.
St. Athanasius’ has been around for 55 years. It was originally located at 735 Mass Ave, which is now the Highrock Covenant Church. The St. Athanasius parish expanded significantly over time as more Greek immigrants and Greek-Americans moved to Arlington; in 2004, the parish moved to 4 Appleton Street, the former home of the St. James the Apostle Roman Catholic Church. A few years later, St. Athanasius’ began throwing its annual festival, using the new location’s sizable parking lot as an event venue.
The church sets up a 60-foot white tent, underneath which are stations selling everything from spanakopita and gyros to loukoumades and baklava, booths selling imported Greek clothing, crafts, jewelry, home goods, and religious items like crosses and nazar pendants.
The festival lasts for four days and features performances by local Greek musicians and dance troops. Some vendors have been coming to the festival for years. Art of the Lands has had a booth at every Arlington Greek Festival for the past decade.
Past the tent on the lawn of Ottoson Middle School, a rental service blows up bouncy castles and inflatable slides.
Other attractions for kids include dance activities and a place to make layered sand art.
Photos from the 2016 Greek Festival by the same photographer can be seen on Flickr here.