Note: Due to inclement weather, the festival hours have changed to 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and 12:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 14.
For Tommy Danos, the Savannah Greek Festival is about tradition, but it’s also a doorway to some of his best memories.
“The taste and smells bring back memories — it makes you think of being a kid back home,” he says.
As one of the co-chairs for the event, hosted each year by St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Danos invites the community to experience some of his favorite Greek traditions, like music, dancing and of course, the food.
The Savannah Greek Festival returns for its 68th year from Oct. 11-13 at St. Paul’s Hellenic Center on West Anderson Street. In addition to handmade, authentic Greek food and pastries, Greek music and dancing, the event also features a gift shop and an outdoor marketplace.
Danos has some great advice for people who have never been to the festival before.
“Come out, if possible, during the middle of the day for a late lunch or early supper,” he says. “That’s when the crowds are low. It will give you time to stroll through the outdoor vendors and make your way into the area with our gift shop on your way into the hall where dinner is served. The entertainment makes for a good time, too.”
He also recommends guests go to savannahgreekfest.com to see the schedule of events and to check out the menu and prices. You can order online and pick up food from their drive-thru. That service is available each day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
“And on your way out, make sure you stop by the pastry table to take some home with you. They even have combo packs so you can try a little of everything.”
Among those pastries will be the 8,000 pieces of homemade baklava the volunteers have put together for this year’s event.
St. Paul’s will also have church tours going on throughout the day so you can take a peek inside this historic building.
While Danos says he always meets a lot of first-timers each year, he also knows a lot of people who come every year to soak up as much of the event as possible.
“I know people who come and eat their meals all three days to get their fill,” he says and laughs. “They love it so much, they come every opportunity they have.”
IF YOU GO
What: 68th annual Savannah Greek Festival
When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and 12:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 14
Where: St. Paul’s Hellenic Center, 14 W. Anderson St.
Cost: Free admission until 4 p.m. each day; $2 donation requested after 4 p.m.