Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Church prepares for Greek festival

The Glendi will feature the St. Barbara Hellenic Folk Dancers throughout its four-day run this week.
The Glendi will feature the St. Barbara Hellenic Folk Dancers throughout its four-day run this week.
  • East County
  • News
  • Share

SARASOTA COUNTY — Just stepping into St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in the past few days is enough to make your mouth water.

Delicious aromas fill the building as the distinct pulse of knives on chopping blocks echo within its walls. In one classroom, dozens of authentic folk-dancing costumes hang side by side. Outside, a huge tent towers over the church grounds.

Oh yes, it’s Glendi time.

The church’s annual Greek festival opens Thursday, Feb. 10, and runs through Sunday at the church, 7671 N. Lockwood Ridge Road. Funds raised from this year’s event will go toward St. Barbara’s building fund for new youth facilities.

This year, the Glendi will feature several new attractions, including performances by the Greek Company Orchestra, a five-piece band from Ohio that performs in a variety of Hellenic styles. Festival-goers also will enjoy an expanded Children’s Adventure Zone, complete with a bounce house, rock-climbing wall and a gaming experience presented by sponsor Best Buy.

As always, the Glendi will showcase the church's Hellenic Folk Dancers, who will perform authentic dances from many regions throughout Greece, plenty of Greek cuisine courtesy of Executive Chef and Popi’s Place owner Popi Ameres, Agora (an old-world market), tours of the church and more.

“From the tastes of the food, wine and beer to the sounds and sights … it’s like being in an environment no different than Greece itself,” said 2011 Glendi chair Henry Romos. “And it just doesn’t get any better than that.”

Although an annual attendance of more than 18,000 makes it one of the East County’s largest events, the Glendi is facilitated almost completely by dedicated volunteers, Romo said.

“We chair people are just in the middle,” he said of him and his co-chairs, Rita Giannopulos and George Karabatsos. “The extensive love, commitment and unselfish dedication of not only our church community but the community at large are what make this event possible.”

And although preparations for this year’s Glendi began eight months ago, Romo said all the long hours are worth it when he sees the first guests arrive.

“To see the satisfaction and the smiles on everyone’s faces — that’s what matters,” he said.

Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].

27th Annual Greek Glendi
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Feb. 10-12; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Feb. 13
WHERE: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 N. Lockwood Ridge Road
NEW THIS YEAR: Performances by the Greek Company Orchestra, an expanded Children’s Adventure Zone and more
INFO: 355-2616 or


Latest News