Opa! It's time for the Yiasou Greek Festival

Opa! It's time for the Yiasou Greek Festival

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Each September, Greek traditions take center stage in Charlotte. The Yiasou Greek Festival began in 1978, and has since become one of the city’s largest annual cultural events.

This year, the festival happens Thursday, Sept. 5, through Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

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"Yiasou," Greek for "hello," "goodbye" and "cheers," features Hellenic cultural exhibits, authentic Greek cuisine and pastries, lots of entertainment, art, shopping and more.

Play Land will entertain kids of all ages with rides, activities and cultural displays. They'll also have a chance to interact with Spartan warriors.

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, at 600 East Boulevard, has always been home to the festival. Festivalgoers are invited to go inside the cathedral and take in the beauty of the Byzantine architecture. Tours are given every hour on the hour, except at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Festival admission costs $3, and children 12 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tip: Free street parking is available but can become very limited. The festival is located less than one mile from the East/West Boulevard LYNX Light Rail station. If you ride the CATS/Bus/LYNX to the festival you can receive free admission by showing your same-day stamped ticket.

The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) at 400 East Boulevard will also allow free parking in its surface lot (but not in the parking deck) after 5 p.m. Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the festival, visit yiasoufestival.org.