Greek Festival on Labor Day Weekend

Carin Merritt

By Carin Merritt

A defining part of Long Beach is its affluent diversity of culture and its on-going celebrations of it. Among various influences, the Greek culture has left a positive impact on the city for years.

Now, 68 years after the very first Greek cultural event showcased, Long Beach has opened the doors to a cultural experience, yet again, for the longest running Greek Festival in California’s history.

Labor Day weekend, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Greek Orthodox Church will host the Long Beach Greek Festival, inundating guests with the sounds of live, energetic folk music, the smells of home-made traditional Greek dishes, and the sights of local shopping and Greek crafts available for purchase.

The Greek Orthodox Church and its volunteers will transform Colorado Street on Sept. 2nd, 3rd and 4th into a laid-back, blue and white themed Greek Isle inspired arena from noon until 9 p.m. each day.

The event is well put-together and made easily accessible for locals and tourists alike. Free shuttles will be provided from the VA Medical Center (enter off Bellflower) to the event so attendees do not have to worry about parking.

Upon entering, energetic staff-manned booths upon booths offer fresh, warm and savory dishes including calamari, Souvlaki and gyros with tzaziki sauce. Beer and wine is provided as well as the licorice flavored liqueur, Ouzo. The event is family friendly, including carnival rides.

“This is one of my favorite festivals to attend every year,” says one local. “There’s so much great food to try and the vibe is just happy and fun. Plus, the event supports our community and every one of all ages.”

Some of these community members exhibiting positive roles are the Maids of Athena, who are dedicated to promoting Hellenism by strengthening the Greek culture through educational and artistic activities. They take great pride in sponsorship of philanthropic activities, leadership conferences, scholarship programs, travel opportunities, the arts, athletic tournaments and social functions.

These social functions include the annual Long Beach Greek Festival. Dancers from the Cultural Arts and Dance School, encompassing seven dance groups, perform for the crowd with participants ranging from age four to 18.

The event also showcases travel videos, church tours, continual Greek music throughout the day, cooking demonstrations and dance lessons. An indoor dining room is provided as an option – buffet style – including ‘a la carte’ items or combination dinners.

This year the event features a $5,000 “grand raffle.”

For more information on the Assumption of the Blessed Mary Greek Orthodox Church and the Long Beach Greek festival, visit


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