Greek fest returns to Cardiff for 39th year


A Greek marketplace filled with food, music and artwork is being recreated on the grounds of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff for the 39th annual Cardiff Greek Festival Sept. 9-10.

Visitors will be serenaded by live entertainers on three stages throughout the weekend, including the acclaimed Southern California Greek band, The Olympians. Children will perform folk dances in traditional costumes and attendees can learn the steps with guided dance instruction.

Greek delicacies will be sold, ranging from souvlaki (shish-kabobs), Greek-style roasted lamb and chicken, pastitsio (baked layers of macaroni, seasoned meat, cheese and béchamel sauce) and loukaniko (sausage) to dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and gyros along with desserts. Vegetarian fare includes tiropitas (cheese triangles in filo), spanakopita (spinach pie), mezethes (appetizers) and Greek salad.

Cardiff Greek Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 9 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 10

Where: 3459 Manchester Ave., Cardiff by the Sea


New this year is a Culinary Theater with a series of free culinary classes for all ages from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days led by local Greek Chef Mary Papoulias-Platis, aka the California Greek Girl.

The Rev. Michael Sitaras will host tours of the church and discuss the mosaics, iconography and Byzantine architecture.

An open marketplace will feature Greek imports, pottery, fine jewelry and artwork, and a Kids Fun Zone will offer games. Free photos with the San Diego Padres mascot Swinging Friar and the Pad Squad will be offered at the photo booth from 1 to 4 p.m. both days. There will be a raffle for a chance to win a 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA or $25,000 cash.

Admission is $3 (free for children younger than 12, active-duty military, police and firefighters with ID). Free parking is available at the nearby MiraCosta College San Elijo Campus, 3333 Manchester Ave.