After a two-year absence, Cincinnati’s premier Greek festival is finally returning to the queen city this summer.
The 47th edition Panegyri Greek Festival, set up by the Holy Trinity-St. The Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Finneytown will be back June 24-26.
Prepare to feast on as much baklava, gyros (and of course Skyline Chili) as your heart desires, while enjoying Greek culture, music, and other activities.
Ready to experience the Panegyri Greek Festival again? Here’s everything you need to know.
But first, how exactly do you pronounce “Panegyri”?
If you are not a native Greek speaker, we are here to help.
Panegyri, pronounced (Pan-ee-ghear-ee) loosely translates to “festival for all”, according to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
Everyone is welcome at the festival, whether you are alone or as a couple, with your family, an adult or a child.
When and where does the Greek Panegyri festival take place, and how much does it cost to participate?
Admission is $3 per person and children 12 and under are free. A portion of the admission fee is donated to the FreeStore FoodBank and the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.
No pets are allowed except trained service animals.
Here are the festival times:
- Friday, June 24: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Saturday June 25: 3-11 p.m.
- Sunday June 26: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where to go and where to park for the Greek Panegyri festival
Free parking and shuttle service will be available from St. Xavier’s High School.
The festival itself will take place at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 7000 Winton Road in Finneytown.
What’s on the menu this year?
This year you have the option of eating and drinking indoors or outdoors. Here’s what’s available in each location.
- Baklava: Sheets of wafer-thin filo pastry, bathed in butter, topped with nuts, sugar and spices, baked until golden and crispy, then dipped in our homemade honey syrup.
- Chocolate Baklava: Everything tastes better with chocolate. Baklava dipped in milk chocolate.
- Galaktoboureko: Delicious pastry cream wrapped in filo baked and drizzled with honey syrup.
- Kataifi: Finely shredded filo wrapped around a filling of ground walnuts, then dipped in our honey syrup.
- Koulourakia: Braided semi-sweet butter cookie. A favorite with kids and adults for soaking.
- Kourambiethes: Soft, buttery and sweet biscuits generously coated in powdered sugar.
- Melomakarona: Spice cookies dipped in honey sprinkled with ground walnuts.
- Pasta Flora: A delicate shortcrust pastry, filled with apricot or raspberry jam.
- Tsoureki (sweet bread): This sweet bread rich in braided eggs is served throughout the year as an addition to any meal, but is traditionally served at Christmas, New Years and Easter.
- Kafenion (Greek Coffee): Enjoy your Greek coffee or a Fresh Frappe with a crispy Greek cookie, “paximathi” or “koulouri” in our cafe. You can also taste the “rizogolo”, a creamy rice pudding, or a refreshing yogurt dish, also served Greek style.
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, then cooked to perfection.
- Moussaka: Layered potatoes, eggplant, and seasoned sautéed ground beef, all topped with a rich bechamel sauce.
- Pastitsio: Layers of macaroni, seasoned sautéed ground beef and imported cheese, topped with a rich bechamel sauce.
- Tiropita: Filo pastry wrapped in the shape of a triangle, filled with a tasty blend of cheeses.
- Spanakopita: Similar to “tiropita”, but with the addition of spinach to the cheese filling.
Accompanying dishes :
- Greek Salad: Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, oregano, Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar. Available in small or large side.
- Dolmathes: A lovely vegetarian starter made from tender vine leaves rolled up in small rolls and stuffed with rice and fresh herbs, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
On the menu:
- Gyro: A pita bread sandwich made with thin slices of “gyro” meat or souvlaki, tomatoes, onions and topped with “tzatziki” sauce. “Gyro” is a mixture of beef and lamb slowly roasted on a vertical rotisserie. “Tzatziki” is a refreshing mix of Greek yogurt and cucumbers.
- Souvlaki: A pita bread sandwich made with cuts of pork tenderloin grilled over an open fire. Served with tomatoes, onions and topped with “tzatziki” sauce. Also available threaded on a skewer.
- Greek Pizza: A mouth-watering delight made with fresh spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, seasoned olive oil and a mozzarella/provolone mix. Gyro meat can be added.
- Skyline Chili: You won’t find it anywhere in Greece, but Cincinnati-style chili originated with Greek immigrants.
- Mezethakia de Yia Yia: Come and enjoy a plate of “Grandmother’s Appetizers” including “keftethes” (Greek meatballs), “dolmathes” (stuffed grape leaves), feta cheese, olives and ” saganaki” (flambé cheese). Featuring Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe Hummus.
Things to do at the Panegyri Greek Festival
In addition to all the food available to try, the festival also offers some ways to experience Greek culture.
Just off the main hall next to the community center is a cultural exhibit through the church’s Greek language school, centering on three characters and their contributions to civilization: Pericles, Alexander the Great, and Constantine the Great. The exhibition also includes contributions to contemporary Greek culture, folk objects, traditional costumes and information about the Greek language school.
Free guided tours of the church are also offered:
- Friday, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Sunday: 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
All food and drink must be left at the entrance.
Want to learn how to create Greek dishes? The Panegyri Greek Festival offers many cooking demonstrations. To participate, follow the signs from the main hall to the classroom wing.
Here are the available times:
- Friday: 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
- Saturday: 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Sunday: 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.