The Greek Food Festival Returns to Bakersfield


Jacqueline Gutierrez

Visitors of the Greek Food Festival waiting in line for a Gyro Sandwich on Oct. 5.

Jacqueline Gutierrez, Reporter

The Greek Food Festival comes to Bakersfield annually and it is celebrated at St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

The Greek Food Festival lasts for three days and this year it was on Oct. 4,5, and 6. On those three days community members are welcomed to the festival to enjoy traditional Greek music, homemade Greek food, and Greek shops.

“Every day I see about four and five thousand and I have been doing this for 45 years,” Olympia Hackleman, the ticket collector, said.

One food stand at the festival is Zorba’s Treats where James Dean and his family serve their delicious Baklava ice cream sundaes. Dean and his family have been serving sundaes at the Greek Food Festival for eight years.

“I really enjoy it [working with the Greek Food Festival],” Dean said.

At the festival guests were able to watch The St. George Youth Dancers perform traditional Greek dances and wear traditional Greek clothing.

“I have three of my girls that do the dances and it’s fun to watch them dance,” Dean said.

Another stand at the festival served fresh feta fries and “fterougia”, which are Greek chicken wings. This stand is run by Elaine Dorlis and her family who have been participating in the Greek Food Festival since she moved to Bakersfield 25 years ago.

“We cook on an open grill with Greek spices and we offer our famous feta fries which are sliced potatoes that we cook fresh, like fresh hot chips, and we put crumbled feta on top of that, and that’s our big hit,” Dorlis said.

Dorlis and her family are very involved in the food festival, her sons help out with the Greek chicken wings and feta fries and her mother and mother-in-law’s recipes are used in different stand at the festival.

“The music and the pastries are my favorite part of the festival,” Catharine Thomson, a community member who attended the food festival, said.

At the food festival visitors were able to enjoy a tour of St. George Greek Orthodox church, which was hosted by Father Joseph Chaffee and during the tour he explained the origins of the Greek Church.

The Greek Food Festival happens in Bakersfield every year during the fall.