The grilled lamb chops with garlic fries will transport you to Mt. Olympus. Also, it's fun to walk around getting all Bacchanalian on licorice-y ouzo. You may wake up the next morning wondering why you are covered in cheap evil eye jewelry looking like some two-bit Aphrodite — then you will recall that you spent the previous evening at the Greek Fest in Arcadia.
“Come visit us and we will wine, dine and spoil you the Greek way!” said co-chairman of the event Charlie Christodulelis. Seriously, they will.
This year's festival, put on each year by St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church in Pasadena to raise funds, is this weekend, September 16-18, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Proceeds from the event benefit the cultural, educational, athletic and community outreach programs run by the church.
The fest includes live music, dancing, tons of Greek food and pastries (gyros, souvlaki, fried calamari, grilled octopus, every kind of baklava you can imagine), arts and crafts booths and a raffle with more than $10,000 worth of prizes. Other highlights include live cooking demonstrations; a live wine chat with Yiannis Sfakianakis of Pavlidis Winery from Drama, Greece; the Olympic Taverna Sports Bar & Cigar Lounge; Greek folk dancing; lectures about Greek history, culture and religion; and a Kids Fun Zone with rock climbing, carnival games, rides and prizes.
Greek Fest: 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia 91007, (626) 449-6943. Admission is $5 plus $4 parking for adults; children 12 and under are free. Hours are Friday, Sept. 16, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday, Sept. 17, noon-1 a.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 18, noon-10 p.m.