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Our
History
Our
History

From 1976 - Present

One of the major benchmarks for the Cathedral in 1976 was the beginning of its Greek cultural and food festival. First known as the “Richmond Grecian Festival,” this event, more than any other Church activity, raised the visibility of the Cathedral and introduced many Richmonders to Greek food and culture. It also introduced many to the rich spirituality of the Orthodox faith.​

In its first year, the festival was chaired by parishioner Thomas G. Ross. It began as a two-day affair held as a small-scale fundraising event for the Richmond Children’s Hospital. The immensely positive response from the public led to the festival expansion.

In 1977, parishioner Theodore Deeb began to serve as festival chairman. It was not long before the demand for the tasty ethnic pastries, hospitality, culture, arts and entertainment changed the concept of the festival from a few booths to one of the biggest attractions in the Richmond area. The event quickly grew into a four-day affair that included dance troupes, Cathedral tours and lectures about the Orthodox faith, Greek film documentaries, a Greek village shopping area and live entertainment. In 1995, a drive-thru was added at the suggestion and encouragement of parishioner Tony Juranis.

Over the years, the festival concept has been expanded and enhanced. The outdoor area features white tents with food, drink selections and ample seating, as well as a stage with a live band and Greek folk dancers. Inside the Cathedral building are sanctuary tours, a charity information table, a raffle and merchandise table, an agora (international marketplace) and a pastry table with authentic Greek delicacies.

 

Support from the Richmond Community has been extraordinary. Style Weekly magazine lists the Greek festival as the “Best of Richmond — Best Food Event,” Richmond Magazine calls it the “Best Non-music Festival Event in the City,” and Virginia Living magazine names it the “Best Festival.” Also, Discover Richmond Tours says it is one of the most popular food festivals in Richmond and OnlyinyourState.com titled the Greek festival with “One of 10 Festivals in the State for Virginia That Food Lovers Should NOT Miss.” 

For the past 45 years, a portion of the Greek-festival proceeds have been donated to local charities that specifically serve the Richmond area. Since the year 2000, more than $350,000 has been donated to local charities. These contributions are regarded as a small measure of recompense to a Richmond community that has been so supportive of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral since its founding in 1917.

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