The Yiasou Greek Festival Gives Everyone in Charlotte NC a chance to “be Greek”
Each September, Charlotte NC residents and visitors to the area have the chance to “be Greek” for a few days. This award-winning festival started in 1978. Accolades for the Yiasou Greek Festival include awards for “Best Ethnic Festival” and “Best International Event” in the Charlotte NC area from local media.
Yiasou, the Greek word for hello, goodbye, and cheers, indicates the welcoming atmosphere one will find at this festival where “everyone can be Greek.”. An “agora” or open-air market is a major feature of the annual festival. Wares sold at the “agora” include crafts, gifts, and jewelry. Another focal point in the festival is the Greek Cultural Exhibit which shows off a sizeable collection of Greek art, including pottery, statues, and more.
Festival admission is inexpensive at $2 per person over 12 years old and free for children under 12 years old. The food will cost extra, usually between three and seven dollars per treat, but it is money well spent. Some delectable dishes include “Athenian” baked fish, spanakopita, roasted lamb, and gyros. A traditional dessert with a not-so-traditional finish is the Baklava sundae. The nutty, filo-dough wrapped dessert will have your mouth watering, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
The Byzantine era cathedral where the festival is held hosts tours during the event. There are also various performers, including famous Greek music and traditional, costumed Greek dances. In 2010, Kostas Kastanis was a featured artist. The year 2010 was the 33rd year of the festival which ran from September 9-12.