Although there were no official numbers taken, the 34th annual Cranston Greek Festival was again a smashing success and sellout – and, thankfully, it received a reprieve from Hurricane Dorian.
There were waiting lines for food and the free shuttle service that Coclin Associates sponsored for the Church of the Annunciation’s three-day festival.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung – who delivered some brief but enthusiastic congratulatory remarks Sunday afternoon – and his wife, Barbara Ann Fenton, were amazed with the standing-room-only crowd that covered a large portion of a parking area to watch the famed Odyssey Dance Troupe’s performance.
“We’re proud of what this great festival brings to our city,” Fung said. “We’re also proud that the parish opens its doors to show its great heritage, culture and fantastic foods.”
Meanwhile, Father Andrew G. George – Church of the Annunciation’s long-time pastor, who also served as master of ceremonies during the Odyssey Dance Troupe’s performance – gave thanks to everyone who helped make the 2019 event an overwhelming success.
“Friday’s opening was a bit challenging due to the effect from Hurricane Dorian passing by offshore,” George said.
He added with a smile: “And [the name] Dorian, in fact, is of Greek roots, so he stayed overall away from us.”
George, who was assisted by the parish’s new Assistant Pastor Father Nicholas Lanzourakis, added: “Saturday and Sunday brought fantastic for weather, and we are so appreciative of the crowds that came steadily both days. I also commend our fantastic parishioner volunteers for their energy to cook, bake, set up, host, serve and now this week, tear down and store away until next year.”
George also recognized Boy Scout Troop 6 of Cranston, which the Annunciation parish sponsors. He said the Scouts “came in on Wednesday night and put up all the tables and chairs, then came in Saturday and Sunday mornings to clean up and were back, helping to tear down Sunday night.”
“We could not run this festival as smooth and as clear without them,” he said.
Theofanis “Frank” Markos, the festival’s veteran chairman, announced that Peter Demas won the $5,000 dream vacation raffle.