After Pandemic Break, Record Crowds for Tallahassee’s Greek Festival

All that pent-up demand for Greek food, dance, culture, and socialization stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic broke up big time in Tallahassee, Florida with giant crowds returning to the Greek Festival.

WFSU said the event is Tallahassee’s oldest and arguably most popular ethnic food festival and hungry crowds got what they wanted in traditional Greek dancing and music, as well as Greek cuisine, such as the gyros crafted by former Tallahassee restaurateur Manny Joannos.

“We’ve got a bigger crowd than we ever had! Pent-up demand, I mean it’s been two years since we’ve done this. The people are ready for it and they’re thanking us for opening up,” Joannos said as he tried to keep up with the big lines drooling for the Greek treats. For decades, the event has been hosted by Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church where Father Rob O’Laughlin is the presiding priest and top pitchman.

“Certainly the food, the culture, the dancing, the music, and our faith. So it brings everybody together,” said O’Laughlin, trying to explain why people keep coming and his church’s effort to put more ‘unity’ in the word ‘community’.



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