(Chelsea Update would like to thank Artemis Alex for the information in this story.)
The Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor is now in its 12th year at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 3109 Scio Church Road.
The family event kicks off Friday, June 8 and continues through Sunday, June 10.
Admission is $3 on Friday and Saturday and is free until 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Free admission for everyone on Sunday. Children 12 and under always get in free on Friday and Saturday.
Free parking/shuttle at Knox Presbyterian Church, 2065 S. Wagner Rd., ½ mile from St. Nicholas.
After a brief shuttle ride, the sounds and aromas of Greece will draw you to the many areas of the festival, the first of which is the Raffle booth.
This year’s raffle once again features a prize with a Chelsea touch. St. Nicholas parishioner, Stephen Kolokithas, custom jeweler and owner of Jewelry Set in Stone located in downtown Chelsea, has designed and donated the festival’s 2nd prize—an 18K yellow gold/argentium silver earring and pendant set with diamond accents in an olive branch motif designed especially for the festival.
First prize is a trip to Greece for two. Third prize is a Weber BBQ Grill or Yeti Cooler. Daily bonus prizes donated by area businesses are given throughout each of the three days.
Live entertainment features the Greek band Enigma and three dance groups—The St. Nicholas Greek School Dancers comprised of the young children, the teenage Ya’ssoo Dancers, and the Terpsichore Dancers who danced as children and have now formed the new dance group. All dancers perform traditional Greek dances in costume and invite guests to learn and dance throughout the evening.
“Guests have told us that as much as they enjoy our food, the Greek folk dancers are the main attraction—especially the little ones. Many comment on how we continue to maintain our heritage, our ethnicity, and our culture” according to Artemis Alex, the festival’s marketing director.
The Kouzina features Entrees and A la Carte meals. The Mezedes booth is the place to go for Seasoned Greek Fries, Flaming Saganaki and Greek Sausage, and Spinach/Cheese pies. Refreshments including soft drinks, ouzo, beer, and wine can be purchased at the Taverna.
Choose from a wide selection of homemade desserts at our Kafenio to top off your meal. Our special St. Nick’s Mix features a variety of pastries. The Greek desserts have made many put away the diet “just until the festival is over.”
Shopping at the Greek marketplace, the Agora, includes Greek art and handmade jewelry in addition to clothing, food items, and gifts. The adjacent Bookstore features ceramic items, cookbooks, bookmarks, icons, religious books, and more.
Guided tours of the church are continuous throughout the event and feature the second phase of iconography that was recently completed.
St. Nicholas supports various charitable groups through festival proceeds each year. This year a percentage of the proceeds will go toward “Warm the Children, Ann Arbor.”
The Ya’ssoo Greek Festival is a family event and is a great way to start the summer.
For a schedule of events and additional information, visit www.annarborgreekfestival.org.