With such a longstanding tradition in the community, there are bound to be many changes throughout the years. This year there will be one notable change – the integration of iPads for cashiering. Festival Chairman Sandy Papadopoulos said having the new technology is a big step for the festival.
“We traditionally have a lot of lines everywhere and this is something we’re trying integrate – a one-stop shop scenario where you would just buy your food and drinks and you wouldn’t have to buy tickets, just pay by credit card or cash and go and enjoy the festival,” he said.
Besides the new technology, the festival will continue its interactive dancing where visitors are invited onstage once the dancers are done. There will also be a sports tavern at the top of the hill that will show all of the football games Saturday and Sunday, and possibly a few baseball games Friday night. New wines will be featured, as well as a Greek licorice liqueur, Ouzo.
Father Paul Kaplanis, who has been with the church just a couple of years and is the dean of the Cathedral, said what he likes most during the four days is the excitement that runs through the 14-acre campus.
“The property is kind of bouncing those days and I love seeing the people in our community working together because it takes about 700 to 800 volunteers to do this,” he said.
For Papadopoulos, who has been directly involved with the festival since age 8 as a dancer to now being chairman, the festival is a way to show the community what being Greek is all about.
“I feel like this is an opportunity for everybody to see the culture and what kind of impact Greeks have made to the Atlanta community,” he said.
For those visiting for the first time, he added, come hungry, be prepared to over eat and drink, have fun dancing and have an attitude of wanting to have fun.
If you go
When: Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 2500 Clairmont Road, NE, Atlanta
Cost: $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free
There will be free parking and shuttle buses at Century Center Office Park on Clairmont Road
Pre-sale tickets are available online at www.atlantagreekfestival.org for $1 off