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By Brian Park

With a ceremonial breaking of plates and cries of “Opa,” so began the first Greek Festival in San Juan Capistrano.

More than 1,000 guests arrived at the event Saturday, which was hosted by St. Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church. Festivalgoers enjoyed authentic Greek cuisine, sweets, drinks, live music, dancing and tours of the new church.

Mayor John Taylor and Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato helped to open the festival by welcoming the church to the community and thanking parishioners for their working in putting on the event.

“I was very happy to see our whole community getting together, working together, sharing our culture, hospitality and food,” Fr. Bill Tragus said. “I think everybody was very happy. We got a lot of compliments from our business neighbors and guests.”

Initially, the festival was scheduled to take place over two days, but Tragus said the church did not want to overcommit themselves in their first go-round with the festival. Tragus said the church hopes to make next year’s festival a weekend-long event.

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comments (4)

  • Friends noted…”Happy, warm village atmosphere where everyone from babies to grandparents took part….”Feels like I’m in a village on a Greek island.” “Didn’t want to leave…look forward to next year!” Congratulations St. Basil’s!

    • Absolutely wonderful!! Congratulations to everyone for putting on such a wonderful inaugural event. It was so beautiful to see people enjoying themselves, the food and entertainment.

  • Fantastic event. Great authentic food and music combined with warm hospitality and the chance to do some dancing! Look forward to next years festival.

  • San Juan Capistrano’s St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church was the happiest place on Earth Saturday as
    the parish’s first Greek Festival arrived with a welcome from this closely-knit community that rivaled that of larger, more established parishes. Music and food, staples of the Greek culture, flowed freely, to the delight of partakers. Looking forward to this as an annual event, volunteers left the grounds well after midnight singing and smiling all the way home.

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