The 10th-annual Greek Cultural Festival on Ridge Boulevard drew thousands of Greek-Americans and Hellenophiles from around the five boroughs between Sept. 20 and 22— and even garnered visitors from as far away as Florida and Detroit.
“We’re all over the place,” said Evans Kotsis, chairman of the event. “People just hear we have a great festival.”
Attendees chowed down on roast lamb, spinach pie, and moussaka — all made hot and fresh by 200 volunteers from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church at the corner of 84th Street, which sponsors the fair each year. The street celebration coincided with the Feast of the Holy Cross, which venerates the central symbol of the Christian faith — and from which the Bay Ridge house of worship draws its name.
Kotsis said the weeks of preparation before the festival unifies all generations of the church’s congregation, which helps hold Bay Ridge’s Greek-American community together. Kotsis described the neighborhood’s Hellenic population as smaller than in past years, but stable, thanks to personal and economic ties to the area.
“They own businesses here, they own properties here, they’re part of the church, the next generation has roots here,” said Kotsis. “It’s not as big as it was 20 years ago, but it’s still a strong community.”