For 43 years the annual Greek Festival has been a huge trend for the people of Paramus and neighboring towns. For four days in the month of May St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, Paramus has their own greek festival which is the one my friends/family and I go to every year. Each greek festival from each church usually has their unique way of preparing traditional greek food, providing entertainment, welcoming guests and showing them greek culture. But the way St. Athanasios does it is still my favorite. I attended yesterday and I am attending tonight for the third night and I never realized until now that this time of year is my favorite. For anyone who knows me the month of March (for some reason I don’t know why) is my least favorite month (I am sorry to offend those who do like the month of March). When I know the Greek Festival is coming up I get so excited because when I was in middle school and high school I knew that it meant that summer is just around the corner. The reason why I am writing about this though is because for the first time in the 43 years the church made very beneficial improvements with the way they set-up this year.
1. Parking management
So since the parking lot is where they hold the festival people would need places to park. What I loved what they did this year was they provided valet parking and organized the festival in a way where cars do not cross through the festival. The church opened up only a quarter of the lot and created a mini one-way circle using cones to control the flow of the buses and valet traffic. I wish I could explain this better but it is MUCH more fluid for the buses to go through instead of cutting through the festival to go around the church to exit. This new technique creates less traffic flow from the festival so people can roam freely without fear of stopping in the middle of the festival for buses to pass.
2. Shuttle Buses
The festival always provided this but instead of two big school buses they did at least four smaller school buses. They did this because of how small the lot is for their “circle” technique but I like the idea that they did smaller buses than less big buses.
This is a typical Greek dessert are small deep fried doughnuts that are covered in honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. What the festival did different this year was instead of providing only one option of Loukoumades they provided something for the chocolate lovers out there, they drizzled the Loukoumades in Nutella. I had this for the first time ever yesterday and my taste buds are very grateful for that experience alone. I hope this continues for next year too because I do not know anyone personally yet who did not like them.
I feel like this year the set-up is way more organized and open for people. This event is very popular because of its great food, culture, and atmosphere. I am very happy with the way it looked this year. I hope this set up remains the same because of its beneficial flow.
I only wish the positive changes remain the same and I wish nothing but growth with this church, I am happy to be a member of it and watch other people enjoy Greek culture just as much as I enjoy being (half) Greek.