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East County Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 5 years ago

Greek heritage takes center stage

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by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

SARASOTA COUNTY — Members of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church are offering East County residents a passport to a Grecian holiday as they celebrate the 26th annual Greek Glendi Feb. 11-14.

More than 15,000 people are expected to descend upon St. Barbara’s campus on Lockwood Ridge Road for the four-day festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Feb. 11-13, and noon to 8 p.m., Feb. 14. Parking is free, but entrance to the festival costs $4 for individuals 13 years old and older.

“People just love coming,” event co-chair Denise Chimbos said. “It’s a little bit of everything for everyone.”

Attendees can savor authentic Greek delicacies such as spanakopita, roasted lamb shanks, moussaka and Greek wine while enjoying traditional Greek music and Hellenic dancing by children from kindergarten to 18 years old.

“This year my granddaughter is going to be dancing,” church member and festival chairperson George Karabatsos said. “I can’t wait. It’s her first year. They’ve been rehearsing Sundays after Sunday school. It’s good to know she can learn her (family) roots.”

A children’s area, which will include activities such as pony rides, rock climbing and games, will be located between St. Barbara’s fellowship hall and the sanctuary.

During the Glendi, St. Barbara’s also will be offering tours of the church, which features Byzantine iconography. The church’s pastor, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Frank Kirlangitis, said he’s especially proud this year to show off the new iconography gracing the walls of the dome in the sanctuary, which was finished over the summer.

“It’s magnificent what the artist did,” Kirlangitis said. “I get so emotional. This took an awful lot of effort.”

The dome’s iconography depicts Christ in the center, as well as the four evangelists and the “prophets of old.” The piece complements the other iconography decorating the church’s walls, which depict the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ.

As part of the festival, the church also will be raffling off a 2010 Lexus with tickets costing $100 each. First prize is a Lexus ES 350 Luxury Sedan or a Lexus HS 250 Hybrid. Second- and third-place prizes are $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Contact Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.

INFORMATION
WHEN
: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Feb. 11-13; noon to 8 p.m., Feb. 14.
WHERE: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota
COST: Admission is $4 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. Raffle tickets for a 2010 Lexus are $100 each.
PARKING: Free parking is available adjacent to the church and at Church of the Trinity, 7225 Lockwood Ridge Road. A shuttle will take visitors who park at Trinity to and from the festival.
INFO: www.stbarbarafestival.org or 355-2616

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