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THE

Defender Picks

 

VENDREDI

May 26th

Bayou Country Superfest

Mercedes Benz Superdome, 11AM

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and many more

 

Magazine St. Art Market

Dat Dog, 4PM

Happy hour + local art

 

Royal Street Stroll

200-900 Blocks of Royal St, 530PM

Led by the Krewe of Cork

 

YP Family Game Night

Urban League of Greater New Orleans, 6PM

Game night for young professionals and their families

 

Toonces and Friends

Marigny Opera House, 7PM

An orchestral journey through time

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 10PM

Featuring J.DUB’L and residents Erica and Rye

 

New Thousand + Adrian

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Violin centered hip hop

 

Free Music Series

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring Bubl Trubl

SAMEDI

May 27th

Palmer Park, 10AM
The May edition of the monthly art market
 
New Orleans Jazz Market, 3PM
Light bites, drinks, DJs
 
Bar Redux, 7PM
Horror, fantasy, and spiritual movies from 13 countries
 
Bacchanel Fine Wine and Spirits, 7:30PM
Progressive jazz from one of the cities best
 
The Howlin Wolf, 8PM
Improvisational funk music
 
Joan Mitchell Center, 8PM
Monthly open mic
 
The Orpheum Theater, 9PM
Tremaine The Tour with support by Mike Angel
 
Santos Bar, 10PM
Mind expanding multi genre music

DIMANCHE

May 28th

NOLA MIX Records, 11AM
Teaching kids to DJ and produce beats
 
The Courtyard Brewery, 3PM
Raffle, silent auction, craft beer
 
Mags on Elysian Fields, 7PM
A new series dedicated to pushing the limits of contemporary music
 
Three Keys, 7PM
OC cabaret goes Sci-Fi
 
UNO Lakefront Arena, 8PM
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut album
 
One Eyed Jacks, 10PM
Remixes, edits and originals of Fleetwood Mac
 
Rare Form, 10PM
Vintage sounds of American Root Music

Greeking Out

Greek Fest’s Makes 40 with Hellenic Dancing, Fare, and Ouzo on the Bayou



For their 40th year, The Holy Trinity Cathedral (1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd) is inviting Grecophiles out to Bayou St. John for goat burgers, traditional music and dancing, regional libations, and fun for all ages. 

 

In 1973, Greek Fest began as a casual gathering for parishioners whose church had grown too big for its britches. It wasn’t long before the fest’s ideal location on Bayou St. John, distinctive food offerings, and blissful atmosphere began to attract a wide audience.

 

“The reason the festival started was because we outgrew out church, so we bought property on Bayou St. John. Our first festival was more like a fair, honestly,” said Festival Co Chair Gail Psilos.

 

Although non-Greeks have grown to embrace the festival as one of New Orleans’ major attractions, the annual event remains an authentic reflection of Hellenic heritage.   Like most ethnic strongholds in the Big Easy, Greek Orthodox folks have preserved key elements of their culture and blended them with New Orleans’ laidback attitude.

 

“We are the first Greek Orthodox Church in all of North and South America,” said Psilos. “We are a port city, and many ships from all different countries came here because of the Mississippi River. Our religion and our heritage go hand in hand.”

 

One of the best things about the Greeks is their diet, well documented for its flavors, as well as its health benefits. “The one thing you can always bank on is a Mediterranean diet,” said Psilos. “Homemade string beans and a tomato sauce, olive oil, and fresh vegetables will be on our dinner plate.”

 

In keeping with the casual feel of the fest, dinner plates are served in the church’s gymnasium. However, the food booths are the major culinary draw. Greek calamari with feta cheese, goat burgers, baklava, and frappes (Greek coffee) offer guests cuisine that ventures outside of the typical New Orleans palate.

 

Perhaps the best example of this Greco-NOLA fusion is the festival’s Ouzo jello shot. Of course, there is a Daiquiri booth, where they’ll be serving the Greek spirit. Ouzo is distilled from anise, which is what gives the liquor its licorice flavor.

 

Wine lovers can buy by the bottle or the glass, and the fest offers a variety of juices. Psilos said that, like Italian and Argentian wines, Greek varieties are “very nutty and fruity” and sometimes tart. “Greek wines are traditionally dry, we also have a sweet red wine. We’ve really culled a taste for what people like,” said the co-chair.

 

Once guests have sipped to their heart’s content, they can enjoy traditional Hellenic dancers, one of the biggest draws of the festival. The uproarious genre of music—and perhaps the ouzo--has been known to inspire novice dancers to let loose on the grounds.

 

Some will be using designated drivers, but the fest remains a family-friendly event. a children’s area will be sure to have French fries and hotdogs for young taste buds, as well as face painting. Parents can also take their kids on canoe rides, another benefit to hosting a festival on the water.

 

Local artist Michalopoulos created Greek Fest’s 40th anniversary poster, which has yet to be unveiled. Psilos said that, for a $5 entry fee, Greek Fest continues to give fest-goers “A lot of bang for [their] buck!”

 

Hours are Friday, May 24: 5pm-11pm,  Saturday, May 25: 11am-11pm, and Sunday, May 26: 11am-9pm. 

 

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily