The Greek Agora Festival spreads Greek culture


Vivian Rong

Dancers perform a traditional Greek dance live with Greek music at the Greek Agora Festival.

The Greek Agora Festival spreads Greek culture, food and entertainment this year on October 10 -13 at the St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Thousands of people in the Delaware area gather at the festival to enjoy Greek culture annually.

As the largest wine and food festival in the Delaware Valley, this Greek Agora Festival is in its 46th year in Cherry Hill. The weekend event offers a family-friendly atmosphere filled with fun, Greek cuisine, and dancing. Providing a great way to relax with friends and family, chairs and tables line the 5 large food stations and 8 vendors. Many food owners, such as Whole Foods, donate to the Greek Agora Festival as well. Their menu offers a plethora of Greek cuisine, including Gyro and Souvlaki sandwiches, both of which are favorites of attendants. Live performances reflect Greek culture and history by telling stories and myths. Performers dress up in colorful costumes and dance about for the audience to enjoy. DJ Maki and many Greek bands, such as Seizmos perform live music.

50 volunteers help the festival run smoothly for the 4 days that it is held. Markets, selling things from food to clothes also take part in the festival. People of all ages crowd the church area talking, eating, and having fun. Children play in the grass, while adults chat and relax. Cars line the entirety of Mercer Street, making parking a challenge. Illuminated by lights at night, the festival is able to run all-day for each of the 4 days.

Inita Birbilis, a staff of the Greek Agora Festival, said, “We prepare all year for it”. She said that the food is prepared as early as Easter. She also says that even though people use this event as a place to sell their merchandise, the main point of the festival is to spread fun through Greek culture and faith, not market items towards people.

 “Greeks love music and dancing. We dance all the time,” said Birbilis. She also said, “I like very much [that] it gives an opportunity [for] people to see the church and dancing.”

Lora Redswan, a festival attendant, says, “It was a good time! Good art, music, food, and people.”

“Fun for all ages. The food is incredible! Live music is great. We go every year. I wish they’d have this twice a year,” says April Krasznai, a festival attendant for many years.

Since 1974, October has been the time for bringing communities together through Greek culture in Cherry Hill. With one day left to explore the Greek Agora Festival, this event will not disappoint.