Every year St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Winter Haven (named after Saint Sophia the Martyr) has a Greek Festival. This was the third time I’ve attended the festival and it is a joy every time. Admission was only $2 per person for the entire weekend. There are church tours also, and during our tour the priest gave a nice talk about this particular church and the history of the Orthodox Church.
The festival lasts 3 days and includes a variety of food, craft vendors, and music and dancing. We bought some tsoureki, a braided bread traditionally eaten at Easter, a small assortment of pastries, and biscotti – it all appeared home made – for $27. Sadly, I forgot to photograph the pastries before we ate them, an indication of how delicious they were. The bread freezes well and can be thawed at Easter.
One of the main attractions for us is the wonderful food. I had souvlaki on pita with tomatoes (it comes with onions but I asked for mine without), with a side of Greek fries. My wife went for a gyro, also with a side of Greek fries. Each plate was only $8, and bottled waters to drink were $2 each. So a hearty, flavorful lunch for two for only $20! And the surrounding festival only added to the fun of the meal.
The Greek Festival at St. Sophia is usually held in February. If you are in or near Polk County, Florida, at that time next year, I encourage you to watch for the festival. A good time and good food, what’s not to like? Opa!