The evenings are getting cooler and the nights are getting darker, so – for Floridians, at least – that means fall is just around the corner. And with the promise of fall comes one of the city’s most beloved annual festivals – the 22nd Annual St. Augustine Greek Festival! It’s the cultural event of the year as Francis Field is transformed into a virtual Greek village from October 11-13, 2019. Where else can you find an endless supply of Greek food and pastries, traditionally-costumed Greek folk dancers, free Greek dance lessons, and live Greek music all weekend long? Opa! But if you’re not sure how to get started, never fear. We’ve got everything you need to know to have a delightful and delicious weekend at the festival.
WHEN & WHERE
The St. Augustine Greek Festival will be held on Friday, October 11 from 4-10pm, Saturday, October 12 from 11am-10pm, and Sunday, October 13 from 11am-5pm. The festivities will take place at Francis Field, located at 29 W. Castillo Drive (behind the historic downtown parking garage).
WHAT TO DO
The ever-popular and nationally-known Greek band Ellada will be performing live all weekend under the main tent. Alongside the band, the Nisiotes and Asteria Greek dance troupes will demonstrate the rich culture of Greek dance. And if you feel your toes tapping, visitors can learn the steps and participate.
This family-friendly event includes an outdoor marketplace and a Kids Center offering games, rides and activities. Vendor booths will be set up throughout the Festival, offering jewelry, arts and crafts, and plenty more. And if you’d like to immerse yourself even further into the Greek culture, a selection of reading material on the Greek Orthodox faith, icons, and other unique items will be available for purchase.
WHAT TO EAT
St. Augustine can’t get enough of the beautiful display of Greek culture and the wide selection of talented vendors, but the food is what really keeps us coming back each year. The Greek Festival offers an amazing array of Greek foods, pastries and beverages – including moussaka, dolmades, souvlaki, spanakopita, and pastitsio. Don’t miss out on the saganaki (flaming cheese) and a variety of Greek desserts that include baklava and other delicious pastries. Many of the dishes are provided by parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Families looking for more familiar food options for their children will find gyros, hot dogs, and snacks on the kids menu.
A village Kafenio will be set up where visitors can relax and sip a Greek coffee while trying out some favorite Greek pastries from the bakery. In the Taverna, fine Greek wine, cold beer, and Greek lemonade will be available.
Back by popular demand, the Festival is bringing back the following specials:
- Baklava Friday (Buy a full dinner platter, get a piece of baklava free)
- OPA! Saturday: Happy Hour 2-for-1 draft beer from 3pm-5pm.
The festival has added a fun new feature this year to the dining experience – now you can skip the long lines and preorder meals from the Greek Festival website! Online orders are for drive-thru pick up only. Please refer to pick up instructions listed on the website. Visit www.stauggreekfestfood.com to preorder meals.
Adults are $5.00 and children 14 and under are free. Active-duty US military and their immediate families with ID are free. Come Saturday and get a “2nd Day Free” admission ticket to come back on Sunday! A portion of the proceeds will be going to a local not-for-profit.
Please note that no pets allowed. Registered service dogs are permitted. For more information on the 22nd Annual St. Augustine Greek Festival, visit www.stauggreekfest.com.