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Vancouver Greek Summerfest

Greek Summerfest in Vancouver

Greek Summerfest is a summer festival celebrating Greek food, culture and music at St. Nicholas and Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church in Vancouver.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Greek Summerfest took place in a revised format in 2020 and 2021. Organizers made it a “take-out-style” event much smaller than the usual programming.

In 2022 Greek Summerfest runs from July 7th to 10th and from July 14th to 17th.

 


METRO VANCOUVER EVENTS IN JULY

Other great events in the Lower Mainland in July include the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival (July 1-3), Carnaval del Sol (July 8-10), the On Your Block Festival (July 9), Uptown Live (in New Westminster on July 16), Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival (July 21-24) and many others!


 

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

 

Greek Summer Festival

In 2021 Greek Summerfest ran on the weekends of July 9th to 11th and 16th to 18th. There wasn’t the usual entertainment and sit-down service as there was in previous years, but there was still tasty food.

2022’s festival includes more of a return to an in-person event. There is to be live entertainment each night of the festival from July 7th to 10th and 14th to 17th and the option to eat at the site. At the same time there is still the option to order your food to-go and take it home with you when you pick it up.

Greek Summerfest is one of a number of different Greek festivals in the Lower Mainland. Fairly similar to the July Greek Summerfest is the multi-day Surrey Greek Food Festival which takes place outside a Greek Orthodox Church in Surrey in early June. Greek Day on Broadway, meanwhile, is a massive one-day street party that takes place in late June on West Broadway in Kitsilano.

The Greek Day on Broadway Kitsilano event is definitely the biggest and most popular of the three events. The other two are less crowded, a bit more relaxing and mostly under covered shelters (which makes them good places to be if it rains). The food and entertainers at all three events are pretty similar, and each event is interesting in its own way.

 


LATIN FESTIVAL ON JULY 8TH, 9TH & 10TH

A great family-friendly event that also happens on the first weekend of Greek Summerfest is Carnaval del Sol. It’s a Latin festival that celebrates Latin music, dance, food and culture.


 

Carnaval del Sol

 

Where and When

The festival is held each year at the St. Nicholas and Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church at 4541 Boundary Road in Vancouver. In years when the regular non-drive-thru event can happen, it’s a nice venue and, if it’s warm out and you use your imagination, you can pretend you’re somewhere at a small festival in Greece!

If you’re ordering your food to go you still go the same church to pick up your orders. The festival runs from noon until 11:00 pm on each day that it’s open.

 

Greek Orthodox Church Interior
St. Nicholas and Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church

 

Greek Summerfest Activities

Greek Summerfest is essentially a Greek food festival with live entertainment in normal years. It’s a free event where you pay for your lamb dinner, souvlaki or whatever and then watch dancing, musicians and other entertainment while you enjoy your food.

In years without COVID, the entertainment at Greek Summerfest ranges from community children’s groups to local Greek dance troupes to professional musicians. In addition to Greek performers, there are also groups from other ethnic organizations most years, including Latin American and other European nationalities.

Also at the festival are a small number of vendor stalls, often including one or two selling fresh fruit.

 

Uptown Live in 2022

 


UPTOWN LIVE IN NEW WESTMINSTER

Another great event in July is Uptown Live in New Westminster. It’s actually one of the best events of the summer, and it’s free!

Uptown Live is a street party and music festival. It takes place on Saturday, July 16th. At the event there are food trucks, artisan vendors and live entertainment on multiple stages.

For details see our article about Uptown Live or visit the event’s official website at uptownlive.ca.


 

Entertainment Schedule

For an idea of what to expect this year, the entertainment schedule for Greek Summerfest in 2019 is listed below. 2022 details may be comparable but details are TBC as of mid-June.

(Note: Times and other performance details were subject to change.)

 

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

  • 5:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Elementary Students)
  • 5:30 pm – Desi (a singer)
  • 6:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:30 pm – Cśardás Children’s Hungarian Dance Group
  • 6:45 pm – Kitka (Bulgarian Folk Dance Group)
  • 7:30 pm – Dave Hartney (musician)
  • 9:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Friday, July 5th, 2019

  • ​4:30 pm – Desi (a singer)
  • 5:00 pm – The Dancing Sisters (Galleni & Anghelikki from Pro Arte Centre)
  • 5:30 pm – Socrates Greek School
  • 6:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:30 pm – Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek School Dancers
  • 7:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 8:00 pm – The Wolfeels (musicians)
  • 9:30 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Greek Festival Food Stalls
Food vendors at Vancouver Greek Summerfest

 

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

  • ​12:00 pm – Yablochko RCC Dancers (Russian)
  • 12:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Juniors)
  • 1:00 pm –  Desi (a singer)
  • 1:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Youth)
  • 2:00 pm – Rancho Folclórico Cruz de Cristo (Portuguese Folklore)
  • 2:45 pm – Diamond Country Dancers
  • 3:00 pm – Satsuki Kai Japanese Dance Group (Japanese Dance)
  • 3:30 pm – The Dancing Sisters (Galleni & Anghelikki from the Pro Arte Centre)
  • 4:00 pm – Bosnia & Hercegovina
  • 4:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 5:00 pm – Hellenic Community/St. Georges – Parea
  • 5:30 pm – Agrimakia (Cretan Association of BC)
  • 6:00 pm – Gotta B George
  • 6:30 pm – Minotavri (Cretan Association of BC)
  • 7:00 pm – Gotta B George
  • 7:30 pm – “Yammas” Greek Dance Group
  • 8:00 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis
  • 9:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 9:30 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis

 

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

  • 12:00 pm – Musiki Parea
  • 1:00 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Fasolakia/Juniors)
  • 1:30 pm – Rags Behiya (Belly Dancing)
  • 2:30 pm – Group Folclore da Madeira
  • 3:00 pm – Gradina Serbian Dancers
  • 4:00 pm – ASI SOMOS (Latin Band)
  • 5:40 pm – Philhellenic Dance Group
  • 6:00 pm – Zefyros Hellenic Dance Society (Adult Dance Group)
  • 6:30 pm – Anemos (Messinian Brotherhood of BC)
  • 7:00 pm – Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church
  • 7:30 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Seniors & Adults)
  • 8:00 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis
  • 9:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 9:30 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis

 

Free Events and Activities in July

 

Monday, July 8th, 2019

(Today’s charitable beneficiary is Ronald McDonald House of BC)

  • 6:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:30 pm – Heart & Sole (Tap Dance)
  • 7:30 pm – Jim Byrnes with Simon Kendall
  • 9:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

(Today’s charitable beneficiary is the Burnaby Society to End Homelessness)

  • 5:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:00 pm – Vancouver’s Gypsy Group Roman Gry
  • 6:30 pm – Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek School Dancers
  • 7:30 pm – Pat Chessell Band (Celtic)
  • 9:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

(Today’s charitable beneficiary is the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund)

  • 5:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:30 pm – Alpen Plattlers Dance Group (German Schuhplattler Dance)
  • 7:30 pm – Dolphin Jazz Band
  • 9:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

  • 5:00 pm – Tharrow Greek Dance Academy
  • 5:30 pm – Socrates Greek School
  • 6:00 pm – Kynthia
  • 6:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 7:30 pm – Mostly Marley (Reggae Band)
  • 9:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Mostly Marley Band
Mostly Marley (at the Shipyards in North Vancouver)

 

Friday, July 12th, 2019

  • 4:45 pm – Kalakatu Samba Dancing
  • 5:00 pm – The Dancing Sisters (Galleni & Anghelikki from Pro Arte Centre)
  • 5:45 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 6:15 pm – Slovenian Folklore Dance Troupe
  • 7:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 8:00 pm – Urban Myth
  • 10:00 pm – Music by Alpha Video

 

Saturday, July 13th, 2019

  • 12:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Juniors)
  • 12:30 pm – Burnaby International Folk Dancers
  • 1:30 pm – Zougla (Greek Band)
  • 3:30 pm – The Dancing Sisters (Galleni & Anghelikki from Pro Arte Centre)
  • 4:00 pm – Agrimakia (Cretan Association of BC Junior Dance Group)
  • 4:30 pm – Minotavria (Cretan Association of BC Senior Dance Group)
  • 5:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 5:30 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Fasolakia/Juniors)
  • 6:00 pm – Hellenic Community/St. Georges – Parea
  • 6:30 pm – Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek School Dancers
  • 7:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 7:30 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Seniors & Adults)
  • 8:00 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis
  • 9:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Elementary)
  • 9:30 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis

 

Sunday, July 14th, 2019

  • 12:00 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Youth)
  • 12:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Juniors)
  • 1:00 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Fasolakia/Juniors)
  • 2:00 pm – Mexican Dance Ensemble
  • 2:45 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy (Elementary)
  • 3:15 pm – Gradina Serbian Dancers
  • 3:45 pm – The Spirit of the South Seas Polynesian Dancers
  • 4:30 pm – Agrimakia & Minotavri (Cretan Association of BC)
  • 5:15 pm – Socrates Greek School Dancers
  • 5:45 pm – Anemos (Messinian Brotherhood of BC)
  • 6:00 pm – Zefyros Hellenic Dance Society (Adult Dance Group)
  • 6:20 pm – Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek School Dancers
  • 6:40 pm – Philhellenic Dance Group
  • 7:00 pm – Diaspora Hellenic Dance Group (Seniors & Adults)
  • 7:30 pm – Tharros Greek Dance Academy
  • 8:00 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis
  • 9:30 pm – Raffle Draw
  • 10:00 pm – Live Bouzouki with Yanni Sahamis

 

Greek Food Menu

The 2021 menu had full dinner platters as its entrees, with each dish accompanied by salad, rice, tzatsiki and bread. The different entrees were BBQ lamb ($24), chicken and pork souvlaki (both $21) and spanakopita ($17.50).

Appetizers included Greek fries ($7.50), spanakopita-spinach pie ($7.50) and hummus with pita bread ($7). For dessert there was loukoumades (a fried dough) dipped in honey with sesame seeds and cinnamon ($7).

There were also some grill items, with the smallest being chicken and pork souvlaki on its own rather than with all the side dishes in the entrees ($7.50). You could also buy large amounts of lamb on a spit, from half a kilo ($28), to a full kilo ($46), to an entire lamb ($290)! If you’d like to know the complete menu from last year, click here.

At the festival there is usually a fairly wide selection of Greek foods to choose from. Menu items from non-pandemic years include lamb dinners (~$22), chicken dinners (~$20), souvlaki wraps (~$7), gyros (~$7), Greek salad (~$6), humus with pita bread (~$5), spanakopita ~($6), baklava (~$5) and other tasty things. Wine, beer, ouzo, soft drinks and coffee are also available.

Not all of those items were available in 2021, though many were. Hopefully the event can have its full menu again in 2022, exact details are TBC as of mid-May.

 

Greek Fest Food Tent
People enjoying the Greek food and entertainment

 

Tips and Advice

Below is some extra information and advice to help you make the most out of your Greek Summerfest experience.

TIP #1: While you’re at the festival, pop inside the church for a look around. It’s small, but ornate and open to the public.

TIP #2: The festival is pretty quiet between meal times, and busiest shortly after noon on weekends and especially in the evenings. It can be pretty quiet on weekdays in the afternoon.

TIP #3: If you can, go on the weekend. The place is usually liveliest and has the most entertainment on Friday evenings and Saturdays and Sundays.

TIP #4: Some performances are for as short as 15 minutes while others are for up to an hour. When there isn’t a live performance there is music by Alpha Video and dancing is encouraged (although sometimes it might only be one or two people).

 

Other Information

For more information about the event see the Greek Summerfest website.

For details about other events in Metro Vancouver throughout the year, see the Festivals & Events Calendar.

In case you were interested and wanted to mark your calendar, other Lower Mainland Greek events that take place earlier in the year include the following: