We hit not one, but two fests today. First it was the Schenectady Kids Arts Fest, then the St. Basil Greek Festival in Troy. We usually try to visit the arts festival, and I’ll tell you more about it later, but since this was our first time at the Greek Festival and it continues tomorrow afternoon from noon to 5 pm, I’ll tell you a little bit more about that one.
So, M has a final social studies project, and it’s on Greece. She tends to think of serious questions and answer them diligently. It’s just her style. This is a great deal of work for her, and it isn’t necessarily the best suited for the project, in this case a tri-fold poster display that they’ll be presenting to 2nd graders. So on Thursday, she was asking for details about the difference between the Prime Minister and the President of Greece. I Wikipediad as well as I could, but then I gently tried to sway her toward something more fun, like Greek food or the fabulous islands themselves or Greek Gods. We ran to the library, she checked out three interesting-looking books for kids about Greece, and then when we arrived home, she set them aside, sat at the computer, and started typing about how the president’s powers are largely ceremonial. I am not kidding.
So yesterday I remembered that there was a Greek Festival this weekend. Perfect, right? We decided to go for dinner, because really, food is the center of the whole thing.
We arrived and there were a few carnival games (most $1 each) and two bouncey-bounces $3 or 2/$5). The girls each played two games. They were especially kind to J and let her stand extra-close since she was so little, and she cleaned up, prize-wise, and then M lost her games and there was Tragic Drama. There were also a few vendors, including one who had groovy bags that M loved. I managed to purchase one and then fold it up so small that she has no idea that it was shoved in my purse. Yay. Her birthday’s in two weeks.
Anyway, food-wise, we tried some Chicken Souvlaki (meat on a stick-$7), Pastitsio (lasagna-esque-$7), Spanakopita (spinach-feta pastry-$3.50), Gyros (beef & lamb on pita bread with tzatziki sauce-$7), and Loukoumathes (fried dough-$4/small order) for dessert.
For their main dish, the girls both liked the Souvlaki best, I thought the Spanakopita was awesome, and Cute W was a sucker for the Gyro. All of which I could have predicted. For the full selection of all possible foods, we went inside, but you could easily just feed yourself under the tent outside. Between the Souvlaki and the fries, you could keep most kids happy, and they also serve beer and wine (woo, hoo!).
They had two groups of youth dancers, and the girls really loved watching them. A couple were pretty young, plus they had on traditional costumes, so my kids were enthralled.
There was some pre-recorded and some live music, and M decided that she definitely needs some Greek music for her display project, so that will liven things up, right? Another favorite part was that spectators approach the dancers and shower them with money while they’re dancing as a traditional sign of appreciation.
Anyway, especially if it’s another beautiful day tomorrow, it seems like an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon: under a tent along the river, clapping along to the music, watching the dancers, and eating a bit too much. In fact, just now I looked at my notes to add food prices for you and I thought, “Damn! The cheapest thing we ate was that Spanakopita! I should have bought another one!”