IN PICTURES: Long Beach Greek Festival is back with 3 days of food, music and celebration

The Long Beach Greek Festival made a roaring comeback on Saturday after taking a year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is being hosted on the grounds of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church at 5761 E Colorado St. It will run Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Organizers of the event invite guests to celebrate Greek culture through food and artesian vendors, drinks and live musical performances. Some cultural food offerings include sweet baklava pastries, lamb gyros and souvlaki chicken skewers.

In recent years, the event drew over 10,000 people, but it has been slightly scaled back to follow COVID-19 guidelines. It’s expected to attract more than 5,000 over the course of three days, according to festival co-chair Jimmy Eleopoulos.

On Saturday, guests Bill Cheney and Charles Simkins accompanied Teresa Simkins who had never attended the festival before.

“I’m really impressed with the music and tried baklava for the first time,” she said.

The event costs $5. Doors open to the public at noon. There are free parking and shuttle rides to and from the festival at the Long Beach VA Hospital parking lot off N. Bellflower Boulevard and Anaheim Road.

Food vendors prepare lamb shanks at the Long Beach Greek Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

A guest walks away from a food vendor with feta fries at the Long Beach Greek Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

A food vendor cuts slices into galaktoboureko pastries, which are layers of crispy filo filled with creamy custard and coated in scented syrup, at the Long Beach Greek Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

A band performs live in front of guests at the Long Beach Greek Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Alongside the food and drinks, guests sort through rows of artisan vendors at the Long Beach Greek Festival on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Masked attendees of the 72nd annual Long Beach Greek Festival wait in line for Greek coffee, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

The Long Beach Greek Festival is hosted at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

IN PICTURES: Eat. Drink. Dance. Long Beach Greek Festival

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Sebastian Echeverry is the North Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of his grant-funded position with the Long Beach Post. If you want to support Sebastian's work, you can donate to his Report for America position at lbpost.com/support.
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