Oakland Greek Festival Program 2019

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MAY 17, 18, 19, 2019



MAY 17, 18, 19, 2019


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Dear Friends and Patrons:

On behalf of the Ascension Cathedral I would like to welcome you to the 47th annual Oakland Greek Festival. We are proud to live in a country which allows us to preserve our rich Hellenic culture and still be Americans. Each year we offer this celebration to the Bay Area so that you may experience a culture that is not only historic and profound, but a culture which celebrates life. Greece is a very small country, only 10 million people, but her culture has spread over much of the world. As here in Oakland and the Bay Area, there are Greek communities in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. These communities are united in a common heritage and a common faith, Orthodox Christianity. This is what we would like to share with you. As you attend our festival you will experience the sights, sounds and tastes of a proud people whose cultural history goes back over 4,500 years. Our members have worked very hard to prepare authentic foods, costumes, dances so that you can become Greek for a short while. We invite you to participate in this celebration of Hellenic Culture. Please ask any of our members for any help or assistance you may have. We thank you for your support and hope you enjoy our heritage and philoxenia (hospitality). With our Lord’s blessing, Fr. Thomas J. Zaferes Program Coordinator/Copy Editor FROSENE PHILLIPS Designer STEPHANIE LEAL Cover Art TULA ASSELANIS OAKLANDGREEKFESTIVAL.COM

Program Contents Welcome


Festival Basics


What you can find at the Festival


3 6 7

Alex Jensen Live Broadcast

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Meet Oakland A’s mascot Stomper

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Music Schedule



Entertainment Schedule



Live Greek Music

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Taste All 5 Regions


Greek Festival Map


Greeks Dance in the Best Circles

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15 16 18

What a journey it has been



Cathedral Tours, Concerts, and Authors



Opening Ceremonies, Special Guests



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TO O A K L A N D ’S G R E E K F E S T I VA L 2019!


t is that time of year together. With all of the again when the food we offer, you will wonderful aromas simply have to eat your of Souklavia and way from one end to Loukoumades waft another. We have put our through the air and the heart, soul and favorite sounds of traditional Greek seasonings into Greek music and shouts our many delicious foods of OPA! resonate in for you. From gyros and the hills of Oakland. lamb sandwiches to wine The Oakland Greek and Frappe beverages, Festival 2019 is now we want you to taste in full preparation Greece! and we are in need of Music drives the our most important Greeks in every aspect ingredient...YOU! What of our lives. From the would Oakland’s Greek upbeat, toe-tapping Festival be without the sounds of the Bouzouki, many people from our to the soothing yet community who come powerful Hymns of the Paul T. Fakaros, Oakland Mayor to enjoy all the treats for Church, you will find Libby Schaaf, Sofo Kyriakopedi the ears, and eyes and each sound intoxicating. stomach? It is with great joy and excitement Greece will be evident throughout the Festival that we invite you to experience our Greek with our live music that will enchant you culture this weekend. and bring out the inner Greek dancer, or you The Festival’s founding committee put may choose to watch one of our many Greek together an event in the hopes of keeping the dancing groups perform traditional village Traditions and their Religion alive and strong dances. in the hearts of their children. Little did they With everything that we do in our lives, the know that 47 years later this festival would be a world of the Greeks revolve around our rock… stage to share our vibrant culture, savory food, The Greek Orthodox Religion. The heart and and trusted religion with our greater Bay Area soul of our Festival is the Cathedral itself. Both community. With this Festival, we are bringing literally and metaphorically, the Cathedral Greece to YOU! serves as the center foundation of our Some say that the Greeks are more religious community. We invite you to tour our hospitable than can be imagined. We rarely beautiful Cathedral and marvel at the wonders let you leave our homes without third or even that it offers. With church tours regularly, feel fourth helpings. It is this giving spirit that free to inquire about Orthodoxy with our makes our Festival come alive! clergy. What makes our festival the True Greek What makes this Festival so special is that Experience is the sight of our young and old you will have an opportunity to experience working side by side, our children filled with the best of Greece with its natives, your joy to dance for you, and our experienced friends and neighbors. We invite you to yiayias (grandmothers) offering you a taste of celebrate our own Greek culture with us while traditional spanakopita (spinach pie) and their enjoying the breathtaking views of the bay! favorite pastry recipes from their homeland. We hope that you leave feeling a little more Food is an important part of the Greek “Greek” than when you arrived! Opa!! Culture. We eat when we are happy, we eat Efharisto poli (Thank you very much), when we are sad, and we eat just because… Paul T. Fakaros and Sofo Kyriakopedi but the most important thing is that we eat Co-Chairmen • Oakland Greek Festival 2019

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. Pericles

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FESTIVALB A S I C S The Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral invites you to share a multi-faceted experience that tantalizes the senses. Tens of thousands of visitors eagerly gather to sample what life is like in Greece today and to reflect on the impact that ancient Greek civilization has had on our American way of life. When 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday Where Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension 4700 Lincoln Ave., below Highway 13 Admission Adults $6, Children 12 & under are free. Free admission Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday evening 5 p.m. to closing. EVENTBRITE Single Day $5, Two Day Pass $9, Weekend Pass $13. $1 OFF Bring one can of food to donate to the Alameda Food Bank, receive $1 OFF admission (per person, all weekend)

Parking • Free parking at the Mormon Temple, Ability Now Bay Area (formerly Cerebral Palsy Center) and Head Royce School. There is also free shuttle service available. • Premium Parking $15 - PARKING PAVILION. The three-floor Parking Pavilion provides over 290 parking spaces with convenient access to the Oakland Greek Festival. Simply drive in the main entrance and self-park. The entrance is located on Lincoln Avenue across from the Cathedral between the Mormon Temple and Ability Now Bay Area formerly the Cerebral Palsy Center. Once you have parked, you can walk up the stairs to the Platia (Plaza) Level. The sights and sounds of Greece will greet you. No more long walks up or down hills. Pay at the entrance – No in and out privileges.

We love Animals a n d P e t s ! Father Tom even suggests we don’t need to do a blessing of the dogs because they are already blessed! Unfortunately Alameda County will not allow us a food serving license if we allow pets, therapy animals or emotional support animals in food serving places. We can only allow service animals. Service Dogs have been trained to provide a task and to behave in public places. They only meet the federal definition if they do a job the owner can’t perform themselves. We welcome all Service Dogs to the 47th annual Oakland Greek Festival!

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Oakland is home to one of the most exquisite modern Byzantine Church structures in the world. Visitors come from all over to see the synthesis of Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Modern architecture forms. Tours are given daily (see page 13), plus each day the Ascension Liturgical Choir augments the tour with Church hymns.


Strolling along the festival grounds, you can enjoy the tantalizing aromas of Souvlakia (chicken or pork shish kebobs cooked to order), Arni tis Souvlas (whole lamb



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on a spit barbecued on a charcoal fire), Barbecued Leg of Lamb Sandwiches (they are delicious) and Loukaniko (Greek sausage with just a hint of orange). Calamari is another tasty and tender treat that is prepared to order and served hot. Also try the always-popular Tiganites Patates (Greek fries) located in the Calamari booth. The Spanakopita and Tiropita booths are “homemade�, not store bought and remain the perfect Orektika or appetizers. They are filo pastry filled with feta and spinach or feta and cottage cheese. Served piping hot out of the oven, they are delectable. The most popular and largest booth remains the Continued on page 10


Steve Doukas,Manager Will you choose to have your deceased family member’s bodies spend their “intermediate state,” until the General Resurrection, among family and friends of the Orthodox Faith, or with strangers? This Cemetery is YOUR Cemetery, as it is the only one in the United States designed ONLY for our Eastern Orthodox Faith. Since its inception in 1939, this Cemetery has remained exclusive to our Faith. Other non-Orthodox, non-Christian cemeteries have created Orthodox “sections,” only to later open their sections to any religion, even to agnostics, atheists and Satanists, when their sales in that Orthodox “section” decline. Your Cemetery supports our Faith and our Church with annual donations. For more information and for the history of this Cemetery, please go to www.greekorthodoxmemorialpark.com

Mausoleum or ground burial services provided. Church services available on our grounds. Each burial space is protected by Trust Funds. The only consecrated Greek Orthodox Memorial Park in the United States.

1148 El Camino Real P.O. Box. 333 Colma, CA 94014 Office: 650-755-6939 Fax: 650-755-6109 greekorthodoxmp@aol.com

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Gyro booth, which serves roughly 6,000 pita-filled delights. Tender, perfectly grilled spicy beef is piled on pita bread and topped with tomatoes, onions and Tsatsiki, a yogurt and cucumber sauce with dashes of special seasonings. Prepared to order, the gyros have been called the finest in the Bay Area. Haloumi is a Greek-Cypriot cheese that is delicate in flavor and texture, but perfect for grilling and topped with a caper sauce served on pita bread – a real delicacy for the discriminating palate. Another festival favorite is Saganaki, a special Kefalograviera cheese imported from Greece. The cheese is grilled and flambéed with brandy as the spectators shout “Opa!” Complete your feast with our delicious Loukoumades and homemade Greek pastries in the Kefenion or take them to go!

Festival welcomes Oakland Athletics Broadcaster Alex Jensen A S S I S TA N T TO B R O A D C A S T E R C H R I S TO W N S E N D H O S T S L I V E B R O A D C A S T S AT U R D AY


oining us in his Oakland Greek Festival debut is broadcaster Alex Jensen, assistant to festival favorite and Oakland A’s new host and senior broadcast producer Chris Townsend. Jensen will appear live in the Olympic Bar for the Oakland Athletics pre- and postgame shows which are broadcasted on KTRB 860 AM, KHTK-AM 1140 and TuneIn which also offers a 24/7 A’s Channel. Jensen is a familiar voice in the Bay Area where he has also been the “Voice of the Gaels” at Saint Mary’s College since November 2008. Saint Mary’s competes in the West Coast Conference, NCAA Division 1. No moss growing under Jensen’s feet, as he has also been a baseball coach at De La Salle High School since February 2010. Stop by the Olympic Bar stage and say hi to Alex on Saturday where the Oakland A’s vs. Detroit Tigers game kicks off at 1:05 p.m. Check out the Oakland Athletics booth while you’re there which is located at #17 on the festival map at the Olympic Bar as well. Go A’s!

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Festival Welcomes Oakland Athletics’ mascot Stomper S TO M P E R G E T S R E A DY F O R G R E E K H E R I TA G E N I G H T AT T H E F E S T I VA L


oin Oakland A’s mascot, Stomper, at the festival on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for Greek Dancing, selfies, and more fun! Don’t forget to stop by the Oakland A’s booth for Greek Heritage Night tickets to the Oakland A’s vs. Houston Astro’s game on May 31st. The special event ticket includes a Gyro Ball shirt with the gyro logo designed by Ascension’s own Peter Phillips. Opa!

Live Music to Entertain You Throughout the festival, attendees can hear the pulsating sounds of Greek folk music that make the feet fly and heart light. Meet our musicians! Please turn to page 14.


Platia Stage | 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. KYMATA with GEORGE MYLORDOS on Bouzouki Olympic Bar | 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. MEDITERRANEAN SOUL with CHRISTOS on Bouzouki featuring FROSENE


Platia Stage | 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. TAKIS KOKOTAS BAND with CHRISTIANA GALIATSOU from Athens, Greece and ALEKOS GALAS on Bouzouki Olympic Bar | 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. MEDITERRANEAN SOUL with CHRISTOS on Bouzouki featuring FROSENE


Platia Stage | 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. TAKIS KOKOTAS BAND with CHRISTIANA GALIATSOU from Athens, Greece and ALEKOS GALAS on Bouzouki Olympic Bar | 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. MEDITERRANEAN SOUL with CHRISTOS on Bouzouki featuring FROSENE

DO YOU HAVE A FESTIVAL GIFT COUPON? To redeem your $10, please take your coupon to the GIFT CARD BOOTH (Cashier Book #1) to exchange for a gift card which is accepted throughout the festival. Please note that the coupons can only be exchanged at this booth.

Accepting Credit/Debit Cards At All Our Booths

In order to make your experience at the Oakland Greek Festival as easy as possible we accept credit and debit cards at all booths, entrances, and in the dining room. Festival Gift Cards will be available for purchase with cash or check for those who prefer. This card can be used at any of our festival booths Still have tokens on hand? Unfortunately, tokens are no longer accepted.

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Entertainment S C H E D U L E F R I D AY


10:00 a.m. CATHEDRAL Cultural Education Program

2:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Aionia Dancers

4:30 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A

2:45 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Greek Dance Instruction

1:00 p.m. KAFENION Cooking Demonstration

6:00 p.m. PLATIA STAGE Opening Ceremonies with Anna Kagarakis, Bonta Hill, Titanes Dancers, and more!

3:00 p.m. CATHEDRAL Liturgical Choir Concert

1:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Anagenisis Dancers

3:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Anagenisis Dancers

6:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Titanes Dancers

2:00 p.m. KAFENION Cooking Demonstration

4:15 p.m. KAFENION Cooking Demonstration

7:00 p.m. KAFENION Cooking Demonstration

2:30 p.m. CATHEDRAL Liturgical Choir Concert

5:00 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Titanes Dancers

7:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Analypsis Dancers

2:45 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Greek Dance Instruction

8:00 p.m. CATHEDRAL Liturgical Choir Concert

5:00-7:00 p.m. PLATIA & WINDMILL PLAZAS Selfies with Oakland A’s mascot Stomper

3:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Titanes Dancers

8:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Nea Zoe Dancers

5:30 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A


6:00 p.m. CATHEDRAL Liturgical Choir Concert

12 noon-5:30 p.m. OLYMPIC BAR Oakland A’s broadcast assistant Alex Jensen

6:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Analypsis Dancers

12:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Greek Dance Instruction

7:15 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A

1:15 p.m. KAFENION Cooking Demonstration

7:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Ascension Dancers

1:30 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A

9:00 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Nea Zoe Dancers

12:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Aionia Dancers

4:15 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A 4:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Analypsis Dancers 6:00 p.m. CATHEDRAL Church Tour / Orthodoxy Q&A 6:30 p.m. WINDMILL PLAZA Nea Zoe Dancers

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Live Greek Music



he festival offers a variety of music all weekend long on the Platia Stage kicking off with Kymata featuring the bouzouki artistry of George Mylordos on Friday. Returning on Saturday and Sunday is the Takis Kokotas Band featuring Greece’s Christiana Galiatsou on vocals, bouzouki virtuoso Alekos Galas, Thanasi Moustogiannis and Dimitris Papakostas. Christiana hails from Athens, Greece and has shared the stage with such legends as Yiannis Parios and Glykeria, to name a few. Takis’ band hails from Los Angeles where they have entertained audiences for over 35 years. Galas’ early musical roots are from the SF Bay Area where he performed at the famed Balkan Village in Los Altos and the Parthenon Restaurant in Walnut Creek, among others. Electrifying the Olympic Bar all weekend long is Mediterranean Soul featuring vocalist Frosene Phillips, the entertaining Christos Sarantakis on bouzouki, and special guest clarinetist Mary Farris, who appear in this intimate sports-flavored taverna Friday through Sunday. Join sports fans and “watch parties” in the Olympic Bar throughout the weekend on two giant screen high-def TVs while indulging in beer and wine from Greece, and live Greek music. Yiamas!

Christiana Galiatsou

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Buy at least one food item or beverage from each of the five regions, get one free bowl of delicious Loukoumades! Each time you buy a food or drink item in each region, ask for a stamp below. Get all five stamps and then show your program for one free bowl of Loukoumades!

Place Stamp Here

Place Stamp Here

Place Stamp Here

Place Stamp Here

Place Stamp Here

1 2 3 4 5


Windmill Plaza 3 Pastries-to-go • 4A Loukoumades 6 Gyros


Platia 9 Frappé • 10 Lamb Chops/Souvlakia 11 Lamb on Spit/Corn • 12 Platia Bar/Wine 14 Lamb Sandwich


Back of Cathedral 15 Calamari/Fries 20 Loukaniko Olympic Bar 23 Taverna Bar


Agora/Plaka 28 Tiropita/Spanakopita


Estiatorion/Kafenion 48 Estiatorion Bar 49 Food line/Dining Rm 52 Greek Pastries/Café

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23 extravagantni/iStock/Thinkstock

Olympic Bar







18 20 19

38 37




15 16

25 26




12B Platia

A 27 B







29 30 31

Cathedral Entrance

34 32 33 Agora 3 Kafenion 52


Windmill Plaza

51 50


35 36

Festival Entrance





53 1




Festival Entrance

Our Five Regions of Greece 1. Greek Islands 2. Peloponnese 3. Central Greece 4. Northern Greece 5. Thessaly

Taste All 5 Regions and receive a Free Gift See page 15 to join the fun!





Estiatorion (Dining Room) 49








A 42 B

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Greek Festival Windmill Plaza

1 Entrance 2 Windmill - Authors Apollo Papafrangou and Irene Sardanis 3 Pastries To-Go


4A Loukoumades 4B OPD 6 Gyro 7 Entrance Booth #2 8 Cashier Booth #2 9 Frappe/Ice cream/ First-Aid 10 Lamb Chops/Souvlakia 11 Whole Lamb on a Spit/ Kalamboki 12A Platia Bar 12B Greek Wine Tasting Bar

13 Platia Stage 14 Lamb Sandwich 15 Calamari/Fries 16 Cesare The Clown

Olympic Bar

17 Oakland A’s 18 Visa Vis Jewelry 19 Greek Island House 20 Loukaniko/Saganaki 21 Playground 22 Olympic Stage 23 Olympic Bar


25 Grecian Soap Co. 26 Koralia Jewelry 27A Bella Imports 27B Fanny Fish 28 Tiropita/Spanakopita 29 Elaine’s Little Gems 30 Raqsa 31 Art Works

32 33 34 35 36

The Divine Gypsy Theofanis EVOO Greek Ceramics Golden Cornucopia Cashier Booth #1


37 Euro Style Fashions 38 Holy Assumption Monastery 39 Majul and Co. Jewelry 42A His & Hers 42B Bethlehem Olivewood Arts 43 Gemworks 44 Irini’s Boutique 45 Shakeel’s Concepts 46 Regina Russian Antiques

Estiatorion (Dining Room)

47 Estiatorion Dining Room 48 Estiatorion Bar 49 Food Line


50 Greek School 51 Ascension Book Store 52 Greek Pastries 53 Greek and American Coffee

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t has been said that, “Greeks dance in the best circles.” At the Oakland Greek Festival, everyone is Greek and the circles of dancers grow wider and wider as you join someone’s hand and follow along. After circling two or three times you will have mastered the steps and made some wonderful acquaintances. GREEK FOLK DANCE PERFORMANCES ON THE WINDMILL PLAZA Five Ascension teams present Greek folk dance performances throughout the threeday Festival at the Windmill Plaza. See page 13 for performance times. Continued on page 20

Serving Orinda since 1998


Mike and Evelyn Kutsuris Family Platia


FAMILY Restaurant

year after year after year ...

May their memory be eternal!

featuring an extensive

Gregory M. Kutsuris


Eleni and Gregory Merritt & Family P H OTO BY G E O R G E R E T E L A S

65 Moraga Way, Orinda

925-254-7202 europahofbrau.com Wishing the Ascension Cathedral community another successful Festival!

Chris and the rest of the Frangoulis family would like to congratulate Ascension Cathedral on the 47th anniversary of its festival of Greece.

For a taste of Greece all year, come to The Park Street Tavern in Alameda. Casual fine dining inspired by modern Greek and Italian dishes. PRIVATE DINING ROOMS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OCCASIONS


We hope to see you at 1901 Park Street, Alameda! PA R K I N G O N C L E M E N T

For reservations, please call (510) 671-2867

And keep the party going Saturday night after the festival closes with more Greek music at the Park Street Tavern.

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The Ascension Cathedral has five dance groups that comprise over 100 dancers. The dancers range in age from three to 25 to 50+ years old. The dances and costumes are representative of different regions of Greece. The dance groups practice weekly throughout the year and have two main events to perform for, one is the annual Folk Dance and Choral Festival (FDF) where over 100 dance groups comprising 3,000

Introducing the First Organic & Gluten Free Dedicated Kitchens in the Bay Area.

Congratulations Oakland Greek Festival! Opa! Announcing my new office in Danville!


Vitakes, D.D.S. Marie and Tom Banis

Call us at 925.212.5582 2428 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley www.visitcertifiedkitchens.com

Two offices to serve you: 909 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Suite 218 Danville | 925.553.7761 164 E. H Street Benicia | 707.745.1994 OFFICE HOURS BY APPOINTMENT

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dancers come together from throughout the U.S. to compete and share their Hellenic culture and Greek Orthodox faith. At FDF the Ascension dance groups have consistently won medals and have proven to be a powerhouse dance community that all in attendance enjoy watching. The second main event is our three-day festival where our following groups perform: GREEKS DANCE IN THE BEST CIRCLES… Aionia (Eternity) - Our youngest dance group, these Pre-k thru kindergarteners are just learning how to dance. Their energy and kefi (spirit) will be sure to put a smile on your face. Come cheer them on this weekend as they make their Festival debut! Anagenisis (New Beginning) – Our up-and-coming dance group, these 1st thru 3rd graders have not had a chance to compete yet but warm our hearts with their

Continued on page 22

I T ’ S G R E AT T O B E G R E E K AND HELP THE ALAMEDA FOOD BANK! Please join us to help the Alameda Food Bank at the Oakland Greek Festival!

Bring in One Can of Food to Donate to the Alameda Food Bank, get

$1 off the price of one admission (one can per person • regular admission $6)

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enthusiastic dancing. Come watch their powerful performances this weekend! Titanes (Titans) – Our 4th thru 6th graders symbolize incredible strength and stamina. These dancers did a phenomenal job performing and singing at FDF this year, placing first in their category! Come catch one of their award winning performances at the Windmill Plaza! Analypsis (Ascension) - Our 7th-9th grade dancers, and proudly the namesake group of our Cathedral. In 2017, they received the Costume Award for their beautiful new The Titanes Dancers won first place in their costumes, which were made by division at the 2019 FDF. Watch their award-winning seamstresses’ Athena Lagios and performances all weekend long. Francesca Limnios from our church community. Be sure to catch one of their energetic performances. Opa! Nea Zoe (New Life) - Our high school group truly loves to dance. These dancers never miss a beat and their kefi is contagious! Don’t miss their crowd pleasing performances this weekend!

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Improving Lives Naturally One Cell at a Time Keeping you dancing through the years! Paula has 14 years of experience with BEMER and is a Leader in the field. Call today to schedule a complimentary demo.

Best Selection, Best Value for Greek & European Delicacies

Come and enjoy our every day low prices in Greek products. We offer a large variety of teas and coffees as well as a large selection of Greek jams, pastas, cheese and many more items from around the world. 2 L O C AT I O N S T O S E R V E Y O U

HAYWARD 230 Jackson Street (at Soto next to DMV)


PALO ALTO 720 San Antonio Rd. (near Middlefield)




Need New


to the music of The Hohlax Trio


Greek Wines from Ancient Vines & Authentic Greek Delicacies featured all weekend

Listen Directions:

From Highway 101, & take Ignacio Boulevard exit heading west. Follow signs to free parking* at Pell Plaza, 500 Redwood Blvd, where a shuttle will take you to the festival. *Free parking at the Church, 11AM-5PM Friday only.

to renowned speakers on iconography, motivation and much more


about Greek History, Music, Dance & Faith

5% of proceeds to benefit

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1917 - 2019 What a Journey It Has Been!


his year marks the 102nd Anniversary of our community. To fully appreciate our 46th Oakland Greek Festival is to understand the evolution of the Greek community in Oakland, CA, briefly summarized here from the Ascension Historical Society (AHS) website pahh.org. In the 1890s Greeks had already settled and opened their own businesses in the city of Oakland and its vicinity. By 1914, Greeks with Syrians and Lebanese were celebrating the Divine Liturgy in a rented hall in Oakland with a priest coming from San Francisco to officiate.

“The Hellenic Community of Oakland and Vicinity” was formally chartered by the State of California on February 16, 1917. Four years later, on May 21, 1921, Oakland’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption (Dormition) was dedicated at 920 Brush Street. Eventually the community outgrew these facilities in downtown Oakland. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Mary Mousalimas, founder of AHS, the church was moved for preservation in 1979 to its current location at 928 Castro Street. It is a designated Oakland landmark and listed on the U.S.A. National Register of Historic Places, as well as a California Historical Landmark.



LIC. #FD 2139


Congratulations Oakland Greek Festival! Alameda’s only family owned and locally operated Funeral and Cremation Service Provider

Harry W. Greer Funeral Director

(CA License FDR 745)

Harry Greer is Proud to be a Vietnam Veteran

(Long time Alameda resident and member of The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension) WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH GREER FAMILY MORTUARY OR GRANT MILLER – JOHN COX MORTUARY, which are owned by HOUSTON, TEXAS-based Corporation Carriage Services

1415 Oak Street, Alameda, CA 94501 510-522-6020 • Cell 510-368-3892 alamedafuneral.org

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The doors of the Church of the Ascension in the Oakland hills were opened on December 11, 1960. The parish was later elevated to the status of Cathedral in February 1992. In October 2017, we proudly celebrated and recognized the transitions of our past, through today’s Ascension Cathedral.

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Stop by the Ascension Book Store at the festival to learn more about our community and to purchase a copy of our 100th anniversary commemorative album.

Serving the

Many Tastes


Behind a simple storefront on Piedmont Avenue you will discover a full-service grocery store that has been part of the neighborhood for more than 100 years. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. • Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

4038 Piedmont Avenue • Oakland, CA 94611 (510) 653-8181 • PiedmontGrocery.com

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Cathedral Tours, Concerts, and Authors THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND


ours of the award winning Ascension Cathedral are offered throughout the weekend offering an opportunity for conversation and education about the cathedral and Orthodoxy. Ascension’s Father Tom Zeferes, Proistamenos, will present tours each day. The Ascension Liturgical Choir will also share hymns of the Orthodox Church at its mini concerts Friday through Sunday. In addition to singing the Divine Liturgy each Sunday, the choir presents its annual “An International Christmas” free concert the first Friday of December. The public is welcomed to join this special tradition which celebrates its fiftieth concert this year. Visit ascensioncathedral.com for details. Also joining the festival year

are Oakland authors Apollo Papafrangou and Irene Sardanis. Apollo Papafrangou is a writer of novels, short stories, and poems. At age 15, he was the author of Concrete Candy, a short story collection with French and Danish editions. A graduate of the Mills College Creative Writing MFA program, he has written for HBO films and his fiction has appeared in a collection of works by Greek writers by Nine Muses Press. He attributes his passion for storytelling to being raised in a Greek-American household where the epics of his ancestors were combined with contemporary family lore. Apollo will feature his latest book Wings of Wax at the festival.

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Irene Sardanis was born into a Greek immigrant family in the 1940’s. She is a retired psychologist and has been published five times in the Sun Literary Magazine, several anthologies, and in 2016, “The Magic of Memoir.” Irene’s mother came to New York for an arranged marriage. Faced with her mother’s depression and violent moods, Irene had no protection. Her father left and her older siblings escaped, but Irene was


Hayward Ranch congratulates the

Oakland Greek Festival for 47 years of kefi!

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trapped. With the help from one woman, Irene found a way out of the Bronx to freedom. Irene shares her memoir Out of the Bronx at the Oakland Greek Festival. PLEASE SEE PAGE 13 FOR ALL CATHEDRAL SCHEDULES


ravel with Greek wine expert Lisa Stavropoulos on a memorable wine and food experience to the most beautiful wine regions of Greece. Each region has its own special wines, culinary customs, unique people, and varied histories. Must see archaeological sites with time to explore on your own. Join Lisa and her small FUN groups on a Greek Grape Wine Tour.

BREAKFAST • LUNCH DINNER • COCKTAILS Open Monday-Saturday 7 am to 10 pm Cocktails to 11pm Closed Sundays (Except for Private Parties) Children’s Menu Available

22877 Mission Blvd., Hayward 510-537-5522 www.haywardranch.com

Visit greekgrapewinetours.com for detailed itinerary, pricing, and how to secure your spot! Contact Lisa at lisa@greekgrapewinetours.com or 415-412-4524

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Opening Ceremonies welcome 95.7 THE GAME’S ANNA KAGARAKIS


Monday, August 26th

scension’s own, and 95.7 The Game’s Anna Kagarakis returns to host the festival’s official opening ceremonies Friday, May 17 at 6 p.m. on the Platia Stage. Part of the “Joe, Lo and Dibs Morning Show”, Co-Host of “Franco & Kags”, and Update Anchor on 95.7 The Game, Anna was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has been in the broadcasting arena for 17 years, starting in television as a sports reporter for the show “High School Sports Focus.” She is the Host for the TV sports magazine show “GameOn” on CHN, a Sideline Reporter, and the host for the lifestyle show “Slice of Life”. Currently, you’ll see her on CBS Sports as well. She got her start working in news doing various types of production work at KTVU- Fox, KRON, and KPIX- CBS. Anna has received two NATAS Emmy awards, four nominations, and three Peninsula Press Awards. She is actively involved at Ascension Cathedral where she’ll be spotted throughout the weekend as she juggles between the festival and her stint on NBC Sports as well as KNTV for the Weekend Sports Report. Welcome back Anna!

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The Oakland Greek Festival welcomes Bonta Hill H I L L J O I N S T H E F E S T I V I T I E S O N F R I D AY


evoted radio sports fans know they can find Bonta Hill Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. alongside Greg Papa during their acclaimed broadcast Afternoon Delight. Friday night, however, you will find him at the festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with his 95.7 The Game colleague Anna Kagarakis during the Festival’s Opening Ceremonies on the Platia Stage at 6 p.m. as well as greeting festival guests during his visit (pending final determination of the Warriors Playoff Schedule). A Bay Area native, Bonta was born and raised in San Francisco,

growing and developing a passion for sports. He has worn many hats including board operator, network coordinator, writer, updater, and show co-host. As a graduate of San Francisco State University, he also freelanced for the San Francisco Examiner for four years as a columnist, covering high school and college sports, as well as various professional sports. Bonta was also a Public Address Announcer at City College of San Francisco for 6 years. Stop by the Platia Stage and have a little “selfie” fun. Remember to use #OakGrkFest … Opa!

What’s the secret to Greek cooking? J O I N A S C E N S I O N PA R I S H I O N E R S FOR LIVE COOKING D E M O N S T R AT I O N S Fillo pastry dough, feta cheese, honey, oregano, and more! Ascension parishioners will offer live Greek Cooking Demonstrations each day sharing their family recipe secrets and tips. Please see page 13 for the daily schedule. Kali Orexi! (Left) Chef Peter Phillips shares his contemporary techniques for delicious Greek dishes. PHOTO BY SARAH LANDIS

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Efharisto! T H A N K YO U F O R S U P P O R T I N G O U R F E S T I VA L !

SAVE THE DATE May 15, 16, 17


O A K L A N D G R E E K F E S T I VA L . C O M


Festivals MAY 25, 26 & 27

MAY 31, JUNE 1 & 2

SEPT. 13, 14 & 15

SEPT. 20, 21 & 22

MARIN GREEK FESTIVAL Novato 415-833-1998

SAN JOSE GREEK FESTIVAL San Jose 408-246-2770

CONTRA COSTA GREEK FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL Across from the Pavilion at St. Demetrios 925-676-6967

SAN FRANCISCO GREEK FESTIVAL San Francisco 415-864-8000





Food of the Gods Best

Greek Cuisine outside the Mediterranean

Welcome to Kokkari. Immerse yourself in another world. Watch today’s roast slowly turning in our fireplace. Have a seat and enjoy Greek cuisine as it was meant to be: made from the freshest local ingredients, accompanied by excellent, carefully selected wines, and served with traditional Greek hospitality.

200 Jackson Street (at Front), San Francisco, CA 94111 p: 415.981.0983 fx: 415.982.0983 CONTEMPORARY HELLENIC CUISINE


The Warmth and Charm of Greece in Silicon Valley Authentic Greek cuisine made from the freshest local ingredients. At Evvia the staff will make you feel instantly welcome, as if you were arriving at an old friend’s home for dinner; an age-old Greek tradition.

420 Emerson Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301 p: 650.326.0983 fx: 650.326.9552 CONTEMPORARY HELLENIC CUISINE