Cincinnati is no stranger to gratuitous church festivals throughout the summer. While these celebrations are mostly of the catholic persuasion, Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox trumps all with its version wine by the bottle, delicious Greek fare, music, dancing, and carnival rides. While it may boast your stereotypical church festival features, it isn’t widely known that this is, indeed, a church festival. It feels more like a cultural celebration, which is a huge part of its charm. It helps that Greek food and wine are outstanding, and we all know there are plenty of those (the food deliciously made by various members of the congregation) to go around.
Some quick hits:
- The Panegyri always takes place at the end of June. This year’s dates are 6/28–6/30. Write it down. Don’t miss it. Tell your friends.
- Something like 500,000 people make an appearance at this festival over its three day span each year. It’s HUGE.
- The food and drinks are the best. Tip: get there early in the evening while the gyro, Greek pizza, and baklava ice cream lines are short. Another tip: get there on Friday while they still have your favorite kind of the plethora wine they sell by the bottle. It’s cheap. And delicious. (There are tons of other food options, too, but I won’t go into that. They also serve draft beer in addition to wine.)
- There is a giant stage where music is played and folk dancing takes place. It adds a very upbeat and happy dynamic to this already-awesome experience.
- Parking and shuttles are available from nearby elementary and parochial schools, as well as at St.XavierHigh School. Entrance fee is $2 (children under 12 are free). Trust me, it’s worth it.
- The Greek Festival was voted #1 Church Festival by CityBeat readers in the Best of Cincinnati 2010, 2011, and 2012 issues. They weren’t lying.
- Located just north of the city limits on Winton Road (north of Winton Place, Northside, and Clifton; east of College Hill), this place is even pretty easy to get to for everyone; especially those who live within the 275 loop.
If you need an excuse to get out and enjoy Cincinnati in its fine, nitty gritty glory, this is it. Plus, it’s in Finneytown, and Finneytown rules.
Get Him […or Her] to The Greek!