After two years off, Cincinnati’s premiere Greek festival is finally returning to the Queen City this summer.
The 47th annual Panegyri Greek Festival, put on by the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Finneytown, will return June 24-26.
Get ready to feast on as much baklava, gyros (and of course, Skyline Chili) as your heart desires, all while enjoying the Greek culture, music and other activities.
Ready to experience the Panegyri Greek Festival once again? Here’s everything you need to know.
But first, how exactly do you pronounce “Panegyri”?
If you’re not a native Greek speaker, we’re here to help.
Panegyri, pronounced (Pan-ee-ghear-ee) loosely translates to “festival for everyone,” according to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
All are welcome at the festival, whether you’re single or in a couple, with your family, an adult or a child.
When and where is the Panegyri Greek Festival, and how much does it cost to enter?
Admission is $3 per person, and children 12 and under are free. A portion of admission costs is donated to the FreeStore FoodBank and the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.
No pets are allowed, with the exception of trained service animals.
Here are the hours for the festival:
- Friday, June 24: 5-11 pm
- Saturday, June 25: 3-11 pm
- Sunday, June 26: 1-8 pm
Where to go and where to park for the Panegyri Greek Festival
Free parking and a shuttle bus service will be available from St. Xavier High School.
The festival itself will take place at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 7000 Winton Road, Finneytown.
What’s on the menu this year?
This year, you have options to eat and drink either indoors or outdoors. Here’s what is available in each location.
Inside food and drink:
- Baklava: Paper-thin sheets of filo dough, bathed in butter, layered with walnuts, sugar and spices, baked to a crispy golden brown and then drenched with our homemade honey syrup.
- Chocolate baklava: Everything taste better with chocolate. Baklava dipped in milk chocolate.
- Galaktoboureko: Delicious creamy custard wrapped in filo baked and drizzled with honey syrup.
- Kataifi: Finely shredded filo wrapped around a filling of grounds nuts, then dipped in our honey syrup.
- Koulourakia: A braided, semi-sweet butter cookie. A favorite with children and adults for dunking.
- Kourambiethes: Tender, buttery, sweet cookies liberally coated with powdered sugar.
- Melomakarona: Honey-dipped spice cookies sprinkled with ground walnuts.
- Pasta Flora: A delicate shortbread crust, filled with either apricot or raspberry preserves.
- Tsoureki (Sweet Bread): This braided egg-rich sweet bread is served throughout the year as a compliment to any meal, but is traditionally served during Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter.
- Kafenion (Greek Café): Enjoy your Greek-style coffee or a cool Frappe with a crunchy Greek cookie, a “paximathi” or “koulouri” in our coffee house. You might also enjoy “rizogolo” a creamy rice pudding, or a refreshing dish of yogurt, also served Greek-style.
Outside food and drink:
Dinner includes two servings, green beans, salad and bread. Here are the main dishes:
- Greek Chicken: Seasoned with a blend of Mediterranean spices and lemon and then baked to perfection.
- Moussaka: Layered potatoes, eggplant and seasoned sautéed ground beef topped with a rich béchamel sauce.
- Pastitsio: Layers of macaroni, seasoned sautéed ground beef and imported cheese, covered with a rich béchamel sauce.
- Tiropita: Filo dough wrapped in the shape of a triangle, filled with a savory blend of cheeses.
- Spanakopita: Similar to “tiropita”, but with the addition of spinach to the cheese filling.
Side dinner dishes:
- Greek Salad: Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, oregano, Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar. Available in a small side or large.
- Dolmathes: A great vegetarian appetizer made from tender vine leaves wrapped into little rolls and stuffed with rice and fresh herbs, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
a la carte:
- Gyro: A pita bread sandwich made with thin slices of “gyro” meat or souvlaki, tomatoes, onions and topped with “tzatziki” sauce. “Gyro” is a blend of beef and lamb slow roasted on an upright rotisserie. “Tzatziki” is a refreshing blend of Greek yogurt and cucumbers.
- Souvlaki: A pita bread sandwich made with cuts of pork tenderloin grilled on an open fire. Served with tomatoes, onions and topped with “tzatziki” sauce. Also available threaded on a skewer.
- Greek Pizza: A mouthwatering delight of fresh spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, seasoned olive oil and a mozzarella/provolone blend. Gyro meat can be added.
- Skyline Chili: You won’t find this anywhere in Greece, but Cincinnati-style chili originated with the Greek immigrants.
- Yia Yia’s Mezethakia: Come and enjoy a plate of “Grandma’s Appetizers” featuring “keftethes” (Greek meatballs), “dolmathes” (stuffed grape leaves), feta cheese, olives, and “saganaki” (flaming cheese). Featuring hummus from Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.
Things do to at the Panegyri Greek Festival
In addition to all the food available to try, the festival is also offering a few ways to experience Greek culture.
Just off the main lobby area next to the community center is a cultural exhibit through the church’s Greek language school, centered around three figures and their contributions to civilization: Pericles, Alexander the Great and Constantine the Great. The exhibit also includes contributions to contemporary Greek Culture, folklore items, traditional costumes and information on the Greek language school.
There are also free church tours available:
- Friday, 6 pm and 7:30 pm
- Saturday, 4 pm, 5:30 pm and 7 pm
- Sunday: 2 pm, 3:30 pm and 5 pm
Any food and drink should be left at the entrance.
Interested in learning how to create Greek dishes? The Panegyri Greek Festival is offering numerous cooking demonstrations. To participate, follow the signs from the main hall into the classroom wing.
Here are the times available:
- Friday: 5:45 pm and 7:45 pm
- Saturday: 5:30 pm and 7 pm
- Sunday: 3 pm, 5 pm and 6:30 pm