“There are two kinds of people – Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek.” – Gus Portokalus in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”
Although Nashville isn’t known for having ethnic “cities within a city,” there are pockets of international culture within our town that occasionally bubble up as festivals for all to enjoy. This week, The Athens of the South gets its Greek on.
First, we get to exercise democracy (Greek for “power of the people”) by casting our vote for Nashville’s next major. This is a no-lose proposition, really. Our town is on such a roll right now that the worst thing candidates can think to say is that we are in danger of becoming Atlanta. Someone please tell me what is wrong with Atlanta! Now, if a candidate were to make a case that an opponent would turn us into Detroit – that might make me pause. (I’m sure Detroit has its charms, but let’s face it – the city has come upon hard times over the past decade or so.)
Okay – back on topic. Voting day is TODAY, September 10. So, unless you voted early, you need to scurry over to your local voting place to weigh in on which candidate will lead our city when Karl Dean vacates his post later this month.
Civic duties done, you can enjoy some of the livelier aspects of Greek culture starting Friday, as the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church begins its three-day, 28th annual Nashville Greek Festival, on the church grounds. It’s hard to say what’s best about the Greek Festival…you can stock up on flaky, delicious baked treats (new this year – preorder online!); shop at the pop-up agora (market) for imported jewelry, art and authentic Greek clothing; enjoy Greek dishes such as moussaka, spanikopita or lamb meatballs; enjoy watching dancers of all ages perform traditional Greek dances; and even learn a few dance steps yourself! Plus, if you’re curious about Greek Orthodoxy, you can tour the church. It looks like this year the festival organizers will have arranged the necessary permits to sell Greek and domestic beer and “My Big Fat Greek Wine.”
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church is located at 4905 Franklin Pike in Oak Hill. To get there from downtown, you can either take I-65 South to Old Hickory Blvd. (Brentwood), then turn right to head north on Franklin Rd. (about 3 miles), or just follow 8th Avenue South until it becomes Franklin Rd., and continue past Harding Place less than a mile. Admission to the Nashville Greek Festival is just $3 (for all three days!); children 12 and under are admitted free, as are active military, police and fire personnel (with ID). On-site parking is free; there also is free shuttle service between the festival grounds and overflow parking at First Presbyterian Church. An ATM is available so shoppers can make purchases at cash-only vendors.