It’s that time of year again. The 33rd annual Yiasou Greek Festival starts this Thursday at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC. Yiasou is the Greek work for Hello, Goodbye and Cheers. The festival offers Greek cuisine and pastries, entertainment, art, shopping and more. This is not an event to miss, Smarties, as it’s one of Charlotte’s largest cultural events.
The Yiasou Festival has been honored to receive several awards over recent years including:
• Best International Event – Charlotte Magazine 2009
• Best International Festival – Charlotte Magazine in 2005
• The Best of Charlotte Award for Best Festival in 2004 – Creative Loafing
• One of Charlotte’s Best Festivals in 2003 by Charlotte Observer readers
• Best Ethnic Festival of 2004, 2003 and 2000 – Creative Loafing
• Best Ethnic Festival of 1999 – Charlotte Magazine
Festival hours are:
Thursday, September 9: 11a-9p
Friday, September 10 & Saturday, September 11: 11a-10p
Sunday, September 12: noon to 8p
Admission is $2 and children under 12 are free, accompanied by parent or guardian.
Following are some Smarty tips for you to get the best out of your experience:
1. Only umbrella strollers – big strollers are hard to maneuver with crowds.
2. Most rides are only suited for children at least 3 yrs and up.
3. Food is DELISH – even for the pickiest eaters. But if you have a super duper picky eater, you may want to pack food just in case.
4. If there is any way to buy tickets beforehand, you should – there are long lines everywhere and that is one line you could avoid. So if a mom or husband is coming home from work etc, stop off at the ticket booth in advance.
5. Keep a close eye on small wondering children, you can lose them easily. Dress in a bright color.
6. Parking is difficult, so plan on walking a distance to get to the festival.
7. Thursday and Fridays during the day have the smallest crowds. Best time to bring your preschoolers.
8. Children really love dancing on stage. After the shows are over, they let children dance on the stage – huge hit!
9. Outdoor Drive-Thru Booth – Don’t have time to dine-in? “Drive-up” and “pick up” your favorite Greek foods on Winthrop Avenue between East Boulevard and East Worthington Avenue. Choose from the selection of combination dinner plates, Gyro and Souvlaki sandwiches, and assorted homemade Greek pastries. Plan your pick-up order in advance by logging onto Yiasoufestival.org and printing off a menu form.
10. Lastly, have fun, fun, fun!
Featured attractions this year include:
Live Performances – Experience live Greek music entertainment by Kostas Kastanis and his band as they perform continuously throughout each day of the Festival. Also, you can experience the rich tradition of Greek dancing with the dance performances by the youth and adults of Holy Trinity in traditional Greek costumes on three separate stages. The youth range in age from preschool to high school, and they practice throughout the year in preparation for their performances at the Festival.
Children’s Play Land – The children will enjoy their adventure at the popular Play Land, an area on the festival grounds that has the atmosphere of a Fair complete with face painting, wax hands, caricatures, games and more. Play Land has been expanded with new rides and activities including the popular Swing Ride, Tubs of Fun Ride, Tijuana Twister Ride, Helicopter Ride, Children’s Ferris wheel, Atlantis, Jurassic Adventure and Slide. Play Land would not be complete without children’s goodies of popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones, which can be enjoyed on the front lawn of the festival grounds.
Please share any other tips you have! Yiasou!
Enter to win a $500 gift certificate from our friends at Drs. Hull & Coleman Orthodontics!
One lucky Smarty will win a $500 gift certificate to be used towards the cost of any comprehensive orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign (may be used for children, teens or adults). Click here to get all the skinny & to register. Good luck, Smarties!