By: Christopher Davis | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2013
Greg Metevelis is general chairman for the Tulsa Greek Festival, running September 19-21 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
The Tulsa Greek Festival is the longest-running ethnic festival in Tulsa. Celebrating its 53rd year, the event showcases Greek culture with authentic dances, costumes, music and, of course, food and drink. TGF runs September 19-21 and is hosted by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, located at Guthrie Ave. and 13th Street.
Greg Metevelis, general chairman for Tulsa Greek Festival, has a strong connection to the event that is almost twice his age. As a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, he has grown alongside the festival. “I’ve been involved since I was a kid, first as a performer in the dances. Then, as I grew up, I got more involved with organizing the festival,” he explains. Now in his third year as general chairman for the festival, Metevelis is excited to see the event grow and continue to engage, entertain and educate the community.
The Greek holiday has become a favorite event for Tulsans, providing cultural education and entertainment, as well as much needed support for the various community partners in Tulsa and beyond. Money that is raised from the event helps fund the many projects and initiatives that Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church partners with. “Throughout the year, our church supports over a dozen charities. Some are local and some are located throughout the country,” explains Mr. Metevelis. Some of these projects include ongoing work with John 3:16, Iron Gate Community, Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, Camp Agape Cancer NW and the Special Olympics.
For three days, Tulsa Greek Festival will offer indoor and outdoor entertainment for all ages and interests. The event will showcase ethnic dances and music throughout the weekend. Performed by parishioners, young and old, dressed in authentic ethnic costumes, these dances bring to life ancient traditions and tell the stories of love, war, passion and adventure.
The marketa (marketplace) will feature Greek wares ranging from ceramics, jewelry, clothes and much more. A new official Tulsa Greek Festival T-shirt designed for 2013, as well as “Cooking Greek for Tulsa” – a cookbook comprised of favorite recipes shared by Tulsa-area Greeks – will be on sale at the marketa.
Tulsa Greek Festival will have plenty of food and drink to fuel the celebration. Guests can build their own dinner, choosing from a variety of home-cooked entrées and sides, including lamb, chicken or pork soulvaki (shish kabob), gyros, spanakopita, tiropita and much more. Desserts and bakery items will be plentiful, too, featuring authentic home-made favorites like baklava, finikia, kourambiethes, and koulourakia. The tavern will serve Greek wine and beer, bottled water and EPSA beverages (non-alcoholic carbonated drinks imported from Greece). “We have a kafenion, where you can get Greek-style coffee,” says Greg, adding a perfect pairing for the pastries offered at the bakery. Along with the entertainment and activities offered at the festival, guests will also have chances to win cash prizes by purchasing tickets for a raffle.
The Tulsa Greek Festival is a fantastically unique event that brings the community together for a weekend of celebrating all things Greek. Guests can go online to www.tulsagreekfestival.com to print off free admission tickets for the event. The event welcomes all ages, and knowledge of Greek language or customs is not required. Just bring your appetite for great food, dance and your passion for life!
Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.