Greek Festival to return to Marlborough over Labor Day Weekend

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By Mary Wenzel, Marlborough Columnist

Greek folk dance performances will be featured twice each day at 3 and 5 p.m. at the upcoming 2021 Greek Festival in Marlborough.
Greek folk dance performances will be featured twice each day at 3 and 5 p.m. at the upcoming 2021 Greek Festival in Marlborough.

MARLBOROUGH – Will Labor Day Weekend be a staycation for you and your family?

Right here in Marlborough, you can get the ambiance of Greece, complete with the music, food and hospitality offered in this Mediterranean country.

“Marlborough’s Annual Labor Day Weekend Greek Festival is back and everyone is invited,” said Jim Peltekis, one of the volunteers planning the Festival.

The parishioners of the Saints Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, 9 Central St., will present this annual event on Saturday, Sept. 4 from noon to 11 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 5 from noon to 11 p.m., and on Monday, Sept. 6, from noon to 3 p.m. 

This year will mark the continuation of this tradition after it was put on hold by COVID-19 last year.

“Authentic Greek foods,” explained Peltekis, “prepared with love, the way our yia-yias [grandmothers] made it for generations, may be the first thing people think about when they think of Greek Festivals.”

The menu includes Gyros and pork Souvlaki, which are chunks of pork tenderloin in Gyro bread with toppings and freshly made Tsatziki (yogurt, cucumber, garlic sauce). The menu will also include chicken or lamb shish-kebab dinners, pastitsio (Greek style baked macaroni with three kinds of cheese), spinach pita, feta cheese pita, Greek style green beans, stuffed grape leaves, Greek salad, Greek style meatballs in a tomato sauce and Greek style roasted potatoes.

Many authentic Greek pastries and cookies will be available for sale at the three-day Greek Festival, Sept. 4, 5, and 6. In a 2019 photo, making finikia in the Sts. Anargyroi Church kitchen are, from left, Joanna Baltas, Chrysanthi Simopoulos and Helen Scouras.
Many authentic Greek pastries and cookies will be available for sale at the three-day Greek Festival, Sept. 4, 5, and 6. In a 2019 photo, making finikia in the Sts. Anargyroi Church kitchen are, from left, Joanna Baltas, Chrysanthi Simopoulos and Helen Scouras.

“A few years ago, 300 lamb shanks were added to the menu,” Peltekis said, “and that number has since grown to 900. America’s longest running Greek radio program, WNTN, has dubbed the Marlborough Greek Festival as ‘Lamb Shank City.’” 

The one-and-a-half-pound lamb shanks are made fresh daily, slow-cooked for eight hours and served with Greek style green beans in a savory tomato sauce and rice.  

“Some patrons come back three days in a row just for the tender, fall off the bone, shanks,” said Peltekis.  

Many authentic Greek pastries and cookies such as kourabiethes, finikia, koulourakia, kataifi, saragli and baklava as well as baklava sundaes, are offered along with loukoumathes (fried dough balls dipped in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar).  

All orders can be put up for take-out.

Soft drinks and Greek Frappe (frothed iced coffee) will be available along with Greek and American beers and Greek and American wines. 

“And, of course,” said Peltekis, “Ouzo will also be offered.”

On Saturday and Sunday, Greek folk dance performances will be featured twice each day at 3 and 5 p.m. by area Greek dance troupes in authentic folk costumes. Also, on those days, starting at 6 p.m., two of New England’s top Greek bands will be playing until 11 p.m.  

George ‘Regas’ Regan will play music all day during this year’s three-day 2021 Greek Festival at the Sts. Anargyroi Greek Church. In a 2019 photo, Regan, Marlborough’s well-known disc jockey, takes a break and gets some lamb shank dinners.
George ‘Regas’ Regan will play music all day during this year’s three-day 2021 Greek Festival at the Sts. Anargyroi Greek Church. In a 2019 photo, Regan, Marlborough’s well-known disc jockey, takes a break and gets some lamb shank dinners.

“Music will be played all day by Marlborough’s well-known disc jockey, George ‘Regas’ Regan,” said Peltekis.  

As many people have never been in an Orthodox Church, there will be church tours given at 2 and 4 p.m.  

“This is an opportunity to understand how symbolism, beautiful icons and two thousand years of tradition come together,” said Peltekis.

To keep children occupied, there will be bounce houses, face painting, children’s activities, hot dogs and soft drinks.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Peltekis, “and admission is free.”

It was estimated that the last Festival held in 2019 was attended by 8,000 people. 

“We have two ATM machines on property, as we do not take credit cards or checks,” said Peltekis.

The Greek Festival will be held, rain or shine, at the Sts. Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, located at Central and Cashman streets, just a block off Main Street.

Indoor and outdoor seating under three tents is provided with one tent down the middle of Central Street.  

Check the website for more details on the Greek Festival at   www.stsanargyroi.org.   

 

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