Souvlaki and Gyros and Ouzo? Oh, yum!

Living in a city with essentially two seasons, and where the leaves usually don’t turn and fall until Halloween (or later), forces Las Vegas residents to look to other signposts of nature’s cycles. One of our favorites is the annual Greek Festival, held late in every September at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in the valley’s southwest. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event (a major milestone in such a young city) that brings the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Greece to Las Vegas.

Don’t mistake this for a packaged festival; the food for sale here is mostly made by the caring hands of the members of the church. It’s like going to a Greek great-grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. Plus, you’ll enjoy live traditional music and dancing, a marketplace of arts and crafts, and a nice selection of Greek wine and beer. Oh, and ouzo, too. Plenty of ouzo to fuel your opa! It truly is a Las Vegas festival treasure.

In recent years, as the valley has grown and word of the festival has spread, it’s become popular enough that remote parking and shuttles are now available. Still, as busy as it gets, the Greek Festival remains authentic, manageable, and family friendly. This year’s event runs Friday-Sunday, Sept 21-23. And from our experience, you need to get there by early afternoon on Sunday to get your hands on some of the most amazing homemade Greek pastries you will ever taste. Bring cash and come hungry. See you there!