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Greek Fest set for return to Hopkins Park in DeKalb

The event makes comeback this weekend after pandemic halted festivities the past two years.

DeKalb – The leadership at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in DeKalb hopes to bring back a bit of tradition with its plans to host Greek Fest this weekend.

The annual event set for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday is slated to make its return to Hopkins Park, 1493 Sycamore Road, after a two-year hiatus prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kathy Wright, who handles communication for the church, said the congregation wants to bring a sampling of Greek life to the community. She said the park provides the best venue to make that happen in DeKalb.

“There’s the playground for children; [it’s] very family-friendly,” Wright said.

From shish kabobs and gyros to Greek salads and Greek pastries, Greek Fest has a bit of everything to offer.

“There’ll be food all day long,” Wright said.

A DJ is expected to be on hand to keep people entertained with Greek and American music.

Vendors will stage themselves at booths selling arts and crafts.

Ollie’s, the frozen custard establishment in Sycamore, will debut its mobile ice cream store.

“We’re really excited to partner with them,” Wright said. “They’re donating 10% of their proceeds to the church. It’s a win-win. They’ll attract people in the park.”

The church’s plans for Greek Fest have been ongoing since January.

“It’s a lot of work honestly, but it really brings our community very close together,” Wright said. “It’s like a big fellowship opportunity. … It looks like a lot of hard work, but I want to say that it’s also a lot of fun for us because then we see all of our friends and neighbors come in and say hello. Greeks are known for their hospitality.”

Although Greek Fest is the church’s largest fundraiser, Wright said bringing the event back had less to do about money.

“That’s really not the main reason we do it,” Wright said. “The Greeks are big on tradition. That’s the reason we’re excited to bring it back. … This has been a summer tradition in DeKalb for I would say at least 50 years although it’s grown, moved locations and generations that started it have now passed it on.”

The organizers behind Greek Fest do not charge an admission fee for entry, but proceeds to be raised will help benefit the church and charities.