The Blanchard Bunch

The Blanchard Bunch

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The High School Dancers
Today was the 32nd Annual Greek Fest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church here in Knoxville. As we have done for the past 10 years, we took the family there to enjoy some great music, food and dancing. The church members go out of their way to make you feel welcome and encourage you to "Be Greek for a Day!"

The food there is amazing. The church members make all of the pastries by hand and have to make literally thousands of each type in hopes that they have enough for everyone who comes through the pastry line. We got 3 of the last 5 boxes of the assorted pastries this afternoon; last year we were a little too late and had to make our own out of the few pastries that were left. Some of my favorite foods there are the Chicken in a Pocket and Spanakopita (which they sold out of before I could get some today.) :-( The little girls loved their Greek Pizza and Chris wants the recipe for the Greek Fries. The Baklava Sundaes also sold out this afternoon, but the little girls were able to get one before that happened. As much as our family loves to eat, the food was definitely the highlight of the afternoon.

Nick, Amanda, Brittney and Derrick 
Several of Derrick's friends are members of the church and are a part of the Greek dance classes. We always love watching the kids do the traditional Greek dances as well as the ones with a modern twist. It's even better now that we have the hobbits because they are the first ones on the stage when they welcome the crowd to join and dance to their heart's content. That's definitely Little Bit's favorite part of the day. She's half Greek, so it's definitely in her blood. She was too cute today doing some of the belly dances with the adults and looked like a natural out there. Blondie loves being out there, too, but not nearly to the same degree as Little Bit.

Sissy, Little Bit, Me and Blondie
I drug Sissy out there to join the little girls for a dance, but she was having some issues with her flip flops and other people's feet, so she didn't get as much dancing done as she did trying to stop her toes from being stomped to pieces. Derrick's best friend, Nick, was able to get Amanda, Brittney AND Derrick out on the stage today for a little dancing. We've been trying for years to get Derrick out there, but have never had any success until today. Now, he wants to take Greek dance classes at the church. Go figure.

Beautiful girls in authentic Greek costumes
The Agora (Greek Marketplace) is a fabulous place to do a little shopping for yourself or possibly get a little Christmas shopping done. They have authentic Greek merchandise and some absolutely stunning jewelry and decorations. If only I had an unlimited budget...

We bought a CD from the band, The Greek Tycoons ( who are extremely talented and have an awesome sense of humor. They wander through the crowd playing their bouzouki and derbeki and try to snag a little bit of food from unsuspecting Greek ladies. That didn't work out so well today when one of them got his hand smacked! Little Bit couldn't stop dancing to their music, even when she was falling asleep in my or Britt's lap.

Greek for a day!
The little girls got to try on some authentic Greek costumes and had their pictures taken in them. They LOVED that so much! Not only was it dress up time, it was Greek dress up time! They looked so cute dressed as little Greek children. The costumes they got to wear belong to the church's dance instructor, Maria, and were hers when she was a little girl. I think it's pretty cool that there's so much history and culture behind everything you get to see and do at Greek Fest and it's great fun for the whole family.

Amanda was approached by Maria at one point and asked if she was okay and told that they had snacks and water available if she needed them. Apparently, she was scowling so much that they thought there was something seriously wrong with her. Poor Todd wasn't sure how to react to that situation; nothing like having the event organizers zero in on your kid for a not-so-positive reason. Hopefully, she'll do more smiling next year!

Needless to say, we all came home very full, very tired and very happy. Opa, indeed!

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