Greek Cuisine and Traditions Unite New Yorkers

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St. Nicholas Church

New Yorkers of all backgrounds united this Columbus Weekend to attend the unique St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Festival of Flushing, New York. This year the Festival had new days. It was held: Friday, October 9: 6-10 PM, Saturday, October 10: Noon-Midnight; Sunday, October 11: Noon-10 PM; Monday, October 12: Noon-8 PM with raffle drawing. It is an educational event where everyone learns and participates in Greek cuisine, Greek folk dancing, the Greek Orthodox traditions, a fabulous flea market and vendors. This is a time where everyone has the opportunity to share in Greek pride with the world on this special weekend in New York City.

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Raffle Committee Mr. Stephen Cherpelis (left to right), Mr. John Tsiolas, Dr. Demetriou, Renos Georgiou and Festival Chairperson Sotiris Georgiou (standing).

Sotirios Georgiou was Festival Chairperson with Co-Chairman Larry Hatzoglou. Mrs. Athena Kromidas, Principal of the William Spyropoulos Day School Principal and George Kanellopoulos of the Stephen and Areti Cherpelis Greek Afternoon School, introduced the dance groups.Festival Chairperson Sotirios Georgiou said “this is my tenth year and our 44rd Festival.. We are strong, working together. It is an honor to serve the church in such a way. New at this year’s Festival is Taverna Night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Dining, Dancing, and Live Greek Music in Sarantakos Hall.” For more information, visit

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St. Nicholas Church Food Court.

Stephen Cherpelis, Dikaiophylax Archon ( Defender of the Faith) of the Greek Orthodox Church and founder of the “Areti and Stephen Cherpelis Greek Afternoon School of St. Nicholas Church, shared with us his support of Byzantine music. “We support the profound efforts of The Axion Estin Foundation to promote Byzantine Music in the United States. The Foundation has begun the task of printing its music in both Byzantine and Western notation (side by side) thus enabling the reader to begin the process of understanding and learning its vast musical system.”

Greek and Cypriot cuisine was grilled in front of spectators. Loukoumades with long lines was the main food attraction. Enjoy Greece by tasting its diverse cuisine. Food is a reflection of Greece’s geography, history and culture. One can understand mainland Greece and the islands through its gastronomy. Eating is about understanding the country’s local customs.

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Astoria Bank representative Catherine Rena, Operations Supervisor, Oralene M. Davis, Vice President and Bibi Deokaran, Assistant Vice-President and Eva Hatzis, Senior Licensed Personal Banker.

Loukoumades is everyone’s favorite, with long lines. Loukoumades are a traditional Greek dessert with roots in deep antiquity.

Free gifts were given to all. Olga Belitsis, who grew up in the church, represented the NYU Langone, 44-01 Francis Lewis Boulevard, and Bayside booth. While she was giving out novelties, Ms. Belitsis explained that she “she grew up in St. Nicholas Church. My parents are Mike and Irene Capous, who volunteered in St. Nicholas Church for many years.” The next generation comes back to help.

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Mrs. Heidi Moustakas (2nd from left) with Atlantic Bank administrative officers.
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St. Nicholas of Velikoretskoye, Cathedral of the Intercession/St. Basil’s.

Heidi Moustakas, an Atlantic Bank administrator at 159-21 Northern Blvd branch Flushing, Flushing, administrator was there with her supervisors in a booth full of gifts. “We are committed to providing all of our customers with exceptional service and convenience, and a full-service menu of products to meet a broad range of financial needs,” said the Atlantic Bank representatives. With 24-hour banking online, by phone, and at 258 ATM locations, we aim to make it easy for you to bank with us.” Mrs. Moustakas son, George Moustakas is an alumnus of William Spyropoulos School, graduating with Salutatorian honors.

Eva Hatzis, Senior Licensed Personal Banker, a member of St. Nicholas Church was operating the Astoria Bank Booth with Catherine Rena, Operations Supervisor, Oralene M. Davis, Vice President and Bibi Deokaran, Assistant Vice-President. “This is the first time we have a booth,” they said. “Our personal bankers are here to listen to you and provide seamless and straight forward customer service and tailored products to meet your needs.” Mrs. Hatzis three daughters graduated William Spyropoulos School with the oldest just graduating Touro Law School.

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Olga Belitsis, who grew up in the church, represented the NYU Langone, with Mema Kourtis

The Business community supported the Festival with Banners. Dr. John Spiridakis, who helps all, had a banner on his law office prominently displayed at the entrance to the Food Court. “We specialize in all accident cases and do not get paid unless we win,” he said.

“In hospitality, the chief thing is good will,” says a Greek proverb. Hospitality came from the Gods, according to the Ancient Greeks. Enjoy the annual Festival of St. Nicholas every October that offers the finest hospitality.





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