Local festivals offer UT students a chance to connect with the Toledo community.
This past weekend, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosted its 48th Annual Greek American Festival, an event that attracts UT students, like Victoria Pinciotti, and her family for years.
“It’s one of the events we always love to go to,” said fourth-year communication and film and video major Pinciotti.
The Greek Orthodox church began in 1915, and the downtown cathedral was built in 1920, standing for nearly 100 years now. It’s located at 740 North Superior Street, between Summit and Huron Streets.
“We initially started [the festival] as a combination fundraiser as well as a purpose of sharing our Greek Orthodox religion, our faith, our culture, our foods, our pastry, our dances with the greater Toledo community,” said publicity chair for the cathedral George Sarantou.
He said when the festival started in 1970, it was much smaller, yet very successful.
The festival ran from Sept. 7 to 9 and cost $6 for adults except on Sunday, when it was just $3 for “Family Day.” Children 12 and under were admitted free with a parent all weekend.
All proceeds benefited the cathedral, but Sarantou said that the money made is never discussed publicly.
“What we’ve done, is from the very beginning, we’ve always given money back to the community. For example, we’ve given money and food and services to many of the homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters that are there,” Sarantou said.
Pinciotti said that all the volunteers for the festival have smiles on their faces.
The cathedral has a website specifically for the event, and it details the schedules of each day’s activities. There were dancing performances, cooking demonstrations, and language and cultural presentations.
Pinciotti said that the event is for people who want to be a part of something that they care about.
“It’s not just an excuse to go get drunk,” Pinciotti said, who recently turned 21.
Sarantou said that this event is important for people of all ages.
“We have a lot of young people come to it from the very beginning,” Sarantou said. “We think it’s beneficial; we want them to come.”