The 2020 International Greek Food Festival is looking forward to continuing the tradition of serving FOOD, FRIENDS and the COMMUNITY! Our Festival begins on Friday, May 15 from 11:00am to 9:00pm, continues on Saturday, May 16 from 11:00am to 9:00pm, and wraps up on Sunday, May 17 from 11:00am to 3:00pm.
Over the past 35 years, the Festival has donated nearly $1.5 million to more than 30 outstanding local charities. Scroll down to our Charities section to see the worthy organizations. $3 entrance fee (or three canned food items). Parking, trolley service, and children under 12 are FREE.
As always, guests will enjoy a vast array of food, cultural performances, shopping, and children’s activities. This year’s entertainment lineup will be better than ever!
Come and join us – rain or shine! OPA!!!
As in years past, one of the most wonderful parts of the International Greek Food Festival is YOU, our friends!. When you visit the Festival with your family and friends, a good time is guaranteed. In addition, you can make new friends at the Festival by enjoying a wide array of international entertainment while reveling in all of the food & shopping available. You can even learn more about your neighbors by taking a tour of the Annunciatioin Church and discover the rich history and tradition of the Orthodox Christian faint as well as enjoy the largest collection of Byzantine iconography in Arkansas!
Be sure to stop by our amazing indoor Old World Market to browse through many unique and exceptional items carefully selected and imported from around the world. You’re certain to discover something wonderful that will help you remember your trip to our festival for many years to come!
Icons, books, gifts and artwork.
Take home a taste of all the great foods you’ve found at the Greek Food Festival by stopping at the Grocery. You’ll find practically everything you’ll need to create your own authentic Greek meals. Shop for a variety of specialty foods, including imported Greek olive oil, filo, Greek olives, cheeses, appetizers and that popular Pete’s Famous Salad Dressing, home-made and bottled on the church grounds. For the gourmet, there’s an assortment of pastas, dried herbs, spices, Greek coffee, grape leaves, tahinneh sauce and capers. The grocery also will carry pasteli (sesame candy), halvah (honey sesame paste), imported cookies, and dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves).
Sample our sweet confections right on the spot or take home a variety, all lovingly prepared by our very own church members based on time-honored recipes.
You might want to take a break from all the festivities by visiting the church which will be open to the public throughout the weekend, with guided tours to be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Verdaris. You'll have an exceptional opportunity to see the church's brand-new handmade in Italy Byzantine wall mosaic, as well as its other iconography and hand-carved icon screen, while learning about the history and traditions of the Orthodox Christian Faith.
3:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm
We are delighted to have you join us at the International Greek Food Festival of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. We hope that you will not only experience the exciting food, festivities and culture, but will take a moment to learn about our faith. If you’ve never been to an Orthodox Christian Church before, we encourage you to participate in one of our guided tours to be conducted by our very own Rev. Dr. Nicholas Verdaris. But first, here are some things that will help you understand our church and our Christian faith.
Do you know that there are 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide with more than five million right here in the United States? It is the second largest denomination in all Christendom. Despite its size, relatively few Americans are aware of the Orthodox Church. It’s America’s best-kept secret. Our church aptly refects America and is made up of men and women from around the globe all witnessing to the Good News of Christ. The Annunciation is a vibrant parish that adheres to Orthodox Christian principles which are concurrently Scriptural, Traditional, Apostolic and Eucharistic.
Though you can learn a lot about Orthodox Christianity by hearing it described, it really must be seen and experienced firsthand to be fully understood. And there is perhaps no better place to see and experience the heart of Orthodoxy than in its worship. Let’s look at a few characteristics of Orthodox worship which may be different from any of your past experiences.
The main Sunday morning worship service of the Orthodox Church is called the Divine Liturgy. The term Liturgy means “work of the people.” Participation is the key word here. The whole congregation is active in worship, even the children. The Divine Liturgy is the common act of prayer, worship, teaching and communication of all those who constitute the Church. In the Liturgy all are invited to participate, by grace, in the life of Christ. It is through worship and service that we thereby come to know Christ, the source of our hope. What happened almost 2000 years ago becomes vital, alive and contemporary to us in the Divine Liturgy.
Since the times of the New Testament, Christians have believed that when worshiping God, we who are earthbound enter by the spirit into “heavenly places.” In Orthodox worship, we can step out of the pandemonium of time into the peace of eternity. You’ll have an exceptional opportunity to see the church’s brand-new handmade in Italy Byzantine wall mosaic, as well as its other iconography and hand-carved icon screen, while learning about the history and traditions of the Orthodox Christian Faith. Therefore, everything in our worship has heaven as its point of reference. But this heavenly focus by no means turns worship into a mental religion. In the Orthodox Church, a human being coming before God involves the unity of soul and body. Accordingly, worship calls for the action not only of the mind, the emotions and the will, but also of the body with all its senses. So, as the Scriptures describe, in worship there are things to see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Our whole being is to participate actively in the worship of God.
One of the first things you’ll probably notice as you enter the Annunciation are the icons or pictures — images of Christ, the Virgin Mary with her Child, angels, Saint John the Baptist, along with three brand new icons that have just recently been installed. An icon (a Bible word meaning “image”) is a dramatic and constant reminder that there is infinitely more to reality than what we see day by day on this earth. Icons serve to illustrate the Bible as well as highlight the presence of heaven to us in our worship. We don’t worship the icons, of course: worship is for God alone. But we do use them as vital tools to draw near to God, His servants and the Truths of Christian faith, and as such they have long been called “windows to heaven.”
We hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the Orthodox Church. For more detailed information, please visit the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s website or simply visit us on any given Sunday at 10:00am to behold a dynamic 2000-year-old tradition come alive at the Annunciation in Little Rock.
The Easterseals will set up a mountain of fun, like frame making and face painting. And we know how finicky kids can be about what they’ll eat, so we’ll be serving grilled hot dogs. Plus this year we’ve added even more fun attractions, including some super-fun rides and games.
|5:00PM||So You Think You Can Greek Dance?|
|5:30PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
|6:30PM||O'Donovan School of Irish Dance|
|7:15PM||Dabkeh Middle Eastern Dancers|
|7:30PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
|12:00PM||Traditions and Dances of Russia|
|12:30PM||Dabkeh Middle Eastern Dancers|
|1:00PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
|2:00PM||McCafferty School of Irish Dance|
|2:30PM||So You Think You Can Greek Dance?|
|3:00PM||LTD! Edition Cloggers|
|3:45PM||Dabkeh Middle Eastern Dancers|
|4:45PM||So You Think You Can Greek Dance?|
|5:00PM||Ballet and Mexican Folkloric Dance Group Quetzalli|
|5:30PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
|6:30PM||O'Donovan School of Irish Dance|
|7:15PM||Lisa Academy Girls Turkish Folk Dancers|
|7:30PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
|11:00AM||Dabkeh Middle Eastern Dancers|
|12:00PM||LTD! Edition Cloggers|
|1:00PM||Maverick Mixers Square Dance Club|
|2:00PM||Well Tempered Claviers Quartet|
|2:30PM||Greek-American Folkdance Society|
In its 35 years, the festival has donated more than $1.3 million dollars to more than 30 charities that serve children, families, and communities throughout central Arkansas. Proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit the Annunciation Scholarship Foundation and the Annunciation Ministries, as well as these nonprofit organizations:
Community Connections is dedicated to providing quality extracurricular activities for children with special needs as well as support for their families. Programs offered include football, soccer, art, music, theatre, cheerleading, basketball, tennis, golf and martial arts. An Autism Resource Center is also available to offer education and support to individuals with ASD and their families. Programs are offered free of charge and are located in Russellville, Conway and Little Rock.
Easterseals Arkansas is a nonprofit health and human services agency dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities and special needs achieve greater independence and improved lives. Easterseals provides services across the state to meet the varying needs of people with disabilities and their families. These comprehensive services provide a continuum of care from birth to aging adults and focus on the family as a whole.
The HSPC is central Arkansas' largest and oldest no-kill shelter in Pulaski County, Arkansas. The mission of HSPC is to rescue, rehabilitate, provide veterinary care, spay/neuter, and find loving homes for Central Arkansas dogs and cats in need.
Since 1980 Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas has provided a "home-away-from-home" for more than 35,000 families whose child has been sent to Little Rock for life-saving medical care. When a family struggles with their child's critical medical condition, the House provides a private place for them to stay each night and the little things that are otherwise easily taken for granted. Our second core program is The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a full-service 40-foot mobile dental office. The Care Mobile provides comprehensive dental care and education, free of charge, to low-income children in six Central Arkansas counties.
Centers for Youth and Families began in 1884 and, today, continues its dedication to changing lives of those most vulnerable in our society—teenage moms living on low or no incomes, children in foster care, teenagers with no safe place to live, parents in need of answers to be the best parents they can be and students who need a specialized classroom to be successful. Every year, Centers for Youth and Families serves more than 3,000 children, youth and families from all Arkansas. The Centers and its more than 250 committed employees at its sites in Harrison, Little Rock and Monticello strive to heal children and youth from complex trauma through clinical programs and services.
The Wolfe Street Foundation is Arkansas' largest nonprofit resource dedicated to recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Since 1982, it has provided facilities for groups faithful to the original 12 Steps. The foundation also develops and implements a variety of programs aimed toward education and prevention for youth, families and individuals trying to recover from alcoholism and addiction. The doors to its center in downtown Little Rock are open 365 days a year, 16 hours a day.
Youth Home is one of the largest and most experienced nonprofit mental health providers in Arkansas. Its mission is to equip and empower youth, adults and families to become healthier contributing members of the community by providing compassionate emotional and behavioral health care. Mental illness is illness like diabetes or cancer, and Youth Home is committed to ending the stigma that keeps people from seeking help when they need it.
Arkansas Foodbank, the largest food bank in Arkansas, is a member of Feeding America and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Its recent merger with the Arkansas Rice Depot creates new and innovative programming focused on serving hungry Arkansans with more healthy and nutritious food. Programs like Food For Kids, Food For Families, and Food For Seniors provide food and other resources for more than 450 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, colleges, shelters, senior centers, and other agencies that provide aid directly to hungry Arkansans.