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Preparation begins for Church’s Greek Festival January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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It won’t be long before the stoves and ovens at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church will be fired up, emitting tantalizing aromas as Greek delicacies are prepared to share with the community.

The church’s annual Greek Festival will be held February 2 through 4 at the church, two weeks earlier than usual. The festival is usually held over the President’s Day weekend, which begins the third Friday in February.

In Orthodox churches, Lent begins February 19 this year. It is the season leading up to Easter and is a time of reflection and repentance.

And the Greek Festival is a celebration, of Greek culture, the church’s place in the community and friendships – that includes three days of food, wine, music and dancing.

Held inside and out, it features live traditional music and dancing, Greek food and pastries, and a boutique of imported gift and culinary items. Booths will be selling religious icons, jewelry, attic treasures and imported Greek handbags. Dancing lessons are available for those who wish to learn traditional Greek dances.

The sanctuary building, which was completed in 2004, will be open for tours. Though the festival is a major church fundraiser, the event’s purpose is deeper than making money.

Baking begins weeks before the festival when the women of the church convert 180 pounds of butter, 70 pounds of sugar and 250 pounds of flour into 13 different varieties of Greek pastries, including 25 pans of the ever-popular baklava. Baklava is an ultra-rich confection of fillo dough layers, chopped nuts, butter and honey syrup.

The menu includes such traditional favorites as Athenian grouper; pastitsio, Greek lasagne; spanakopita, spinach pie; kalamari, squid; and grilled octopus.

The Annual Greek Festival offers live traditional Greek music and dancing, food and pastries, a Greek boutique and other actvities during the first weekend in February.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 2 and 3, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 1030 Bradbury Road, Winter Haven.

The cost is a $2 donation that covers all three days. Children age 12 and younger are admitted free. For more information, call 863-299-4532.


Come enjoy food at local Greek Festivals January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The 25th Annual Greek Festival at St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church runs today through Sunday at the church, 2100 NW 51st St. (Yamato Road), Boca Raton.

The four-day festival kicks off today with Boca Appreciation Day featuring half-price admission from 4 to 10 p.m. It continues 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. A $4 per person donation to the church will be accepted; children 12 and younger are free.

Free shuttle service from Spanish River High School (at the northeast corner of Jog Road and Yamato Road) runs 5 to 10 p.m. today, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and during festival hours Saturday and Sunday. Free, secured parking is available at the school. Free parking is also available at the church and at Patch Reef Park (just east of the church).

The event features music and dancing, traditional Greek food, you can buy ingredients to cook at home, and pastries, kiddie rides and amusements, church tours, cash raffle prizes and vendors from around the country. A drive-through food booth on the east side of the festival will feature dishes such as souvlaki, pastitsio, moussaka and lamb shanks. The main food booth at the fest will feature moussaka, pastitsio, chicken, fish, pork and lamb shanks served with salad, orzo and pita bread. Gyros also will be available as well as spit-roasted lamb. There also will be Greek pastries and beverages. For more information, call 561-994-4822.

The 28th Annual Greek Festival at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 815 NE 15th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, runs noon to 11 p.m. on February 9 and 10, and noon to 7 p.m. February 11.

Admission is $5. All fire, police, military and EMS personnel will be admitted for free with valid photo ID. Activities include Greek dance lessons, continuous live musical performances by Hellenics Band, performances by the St. Demetrios Greek Dance Troupes, kids’ amusements and more.

Taste authentic Greek cuisine including gyros, souvlaki and baklava. Quench your thirst with frappe (Greek-style iced coffee), ouzo and Greek wine. A Greek grocery store will provide imported cheeses, marinated olives and fresh breads. Parking is available at Sears at the intersection of Federal Highway and Sunrise Boulevard for $1 with complimentary trolley service to the festival. For more information call 954-467-1515 or visit www.stdemetrios.org.

Greek Festival starts this Friday January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church of Kendall will host its annual Miami Greek Festival earlier than ever this year.

Since 1978, the sanctuary at 7901 North Kendall Dr. has hosted the weekend festival to educate Miamians on Greek culture, food and dancing, while raising money for the church, in November.

”We changed the date from November because of too many hurricanes, and the last two years we lost electricity and the church lost money,” said Elham Demery, chairwoman of the event. From now on it will be on the last weekend in January.

From Friday to Sunday, more than 15,000 people are expected to drop in for some home-cooked lamb, chicken, shish-kabob, gyro, specialty Greek dishes, pastries and authentic wines. Vendors will sell jewelry, Greek statues and other art and crafts.

There will also be carnival rides and nightly folk dance shows with children dressed in ethnic garb. The entrance fee is $4; the festival i sopen 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Parking costs $5, or ride a free bus after 6 p.m. from the Dadeland Medical Center for free parking and admission.

”The Greek community is not that large, so we have to depend on fundraising events,” Demery said.

For more information, call the church at 305-595-1343.

Hellas Cinema obtains deal for ultimate battles series January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets, Media Radio TV.
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APT Worldwide has secured broadcast, DVD and VOD deals for the 3×1-hour high-definition docudrama series Ultimate Battles in Russia, the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux and Greece.

Central Partnership licensed the series for broadcast, DVD and VOD for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic states. Scanbox Entertainment picked up the DVD/home video rights for the U.K., Benelux and Scandinavia. Athens-based Hellas Cinema acquired the DVD/home video rights for Greece.

Produced by Morningstar Entertainment in association with Discovery Channel, Ultimate Battles analyzes the military strategies and radical warfare techniques employed during three of history’s most brutal and significant battles: the Battle of Gaugamela, the Battle of the Bulge and Waterloo. Each title within the series features dramatic re-enactments and commentary from historical and military experts.

“This series was our most-requested title at MIPCOM,” said Judy Barlow, the VP of international sales for APT Worldwide. “The production quality and level of detail in the re-enactments is incredible.”

Events in Thessaloniki to mark Holocaust Memorial Day January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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Greece’s Jewish communities, the ancient Romaniote and the Ladino-speaking Sephardim communities, today number approximately 10,000 members, of whom 1,500 live in Thessaloniki, Jewish Community of Thessaloniki president David Saltiel said on Thursday, days before the annual national commemoration in remembrance of the Greek Jews that died during the Holocaust.

Thessaloniki’s Prefecture and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki are jointly organising several events to commemorate the Holocaust on January 28 and January 29 in Thessaloniki, the Macedonia region’s historic capital and a metropolis that for centuries hosted the largest Sephardic community in the world.

Thessaloniki’s Jewish population, which numbered up to 60,000 people before WWII, painstakingly rebuilt synagogues and other communal institutions after the devastating Nazi occupation of Greece (April 1941- October 1944), Saltiel noted on Thursday.

Events marking the revival of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki after the Holocaust commence on Sunday with a memorial service and a wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s Holocaust monument. On Monday, American Jewish Committee (AJC) executive director David Harris will address a special event at the Royal Theatre of Thessaloniki.

Royal auction > Cheap spectacle, government flop January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions.
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If nothing else, the Greek public has learned everything it needed to know about Faberge eggs and the Royal habit of exchanging them as gifts. People have discovered the tastes of Greece’s former Royal Family, their aesthetic preferences, and household items.

They also know of the fierce protests by Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis to the London-based Christie’s auction house for organizing the sale of items “which are part of the history of the modern Greek state.” His message was a strong one indeed. “From now on, no more joking about Greece. Our cultural heritage is our business and we will keep a close eye on it.”

But the recipients of the threat responded with a Mona Lisa-like smile that was nevertheless British in style and arrogance. They talked about surprise and confusion.

And then came the triumphant results of the auction. No one seemed bothered about the Greek protests. No one hesitated. Prices skyrocketed.

Once the fuss is over, we’ll be left with a taste of cheap television spectacle and government flop.

Let the government learn a good lesson from their actions, that is, if they are willing to learn.

Auctioneers defy Greek government January 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions.
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An auction of Greek Royal treasures has gone ahead in London despite protests by the Greek authorities who contest the ownership of the items for sale.

The auction, which began at Christie’s on Wednesday, raised $14m (£7.1m) on its first day, exceeding expectations.

Greece asked the auction house to halt the sale, warning buyers could face legal action if it found the lots had been illegally exported from Greece.

On offer were more than 850 items once owned by King George I of Greece. King George ruled from 1863 to 1913. His collection includes antique silverware, paintings, Chinese jade and Faberge items from the former Royal estate in Tatoi, north of Athens.

The two-day auction has so far taken £7,041,828, with the main lot, King Christian IX of Denmark’s silver wedding gift of a pair of Victorian silver pilgrim flasks made in London in 1866, selling for £579, 200. A gold, bejewelled Fabergé egg fetched £209,000, while a clock created by the same famous Russian maker made £232,000.

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