All Star Greek Festival
By Catherine Tsounis
The best of the season was celebrated in Mattituck, on the North Fork of Long Island, New York. Extraordinary Greek menus, flea market, vendors and rides were at the Transfiguration Church Festival from Friday, July 25th to Sunday, July 27th. The community cooked up a Greek feast that was attended by persons from New York State. Cars were parked for blocks, resulting in local parishioners walking to the Church grounds on Breakwater Road in Mattituck. The Co-Chairpersons were Barbara Thermos, Irene Kalogeras, Manny Constantine and Emily Kavourias.
Generous donations to cover expenses were given by the following persons:
Mr. & Mrs. Spiro Flossos; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Rivera; Mr. & Mrs. Peter Zannikos; Mrs. Eleni Tsunis; Mrs. Irene Halkias; Mr. & Mrs. Savas Millineos; Mr. & Mrs. George Gabriel; Mr. & Mrs. Jim Stavrinos; Mr. & Mrs. Demetrios Stagias; Mrs. Helen Raptis; Mr. & Mrs. Teddy Baktidy; Mr. Christos Verveniotis; Dr. George & Mrs. Alexandra Kolaros; Mr. & Mrs. Nick Lambrianides; Katherine Kamposalis; Mr. & Mrs. Reno Georgiou; Mrs. Helen Stratigos; Mrs. Tibas and Mr. & Mrs. Demetrios Malaxianos.
The problems this rural Greek Orthodox Church, without schools and a young middle class business group, is covering major expenses in setting up and operating a festival of this magnitude. In 2012, the festival expenses were close to forty percent. The generous donations by the listed donors, massive volunteer effort and record breaking crowds will play a major role in reducing expenditures. Bringing in persons who never helped before is the key to making a community grow. The feeling of working for a good cause and succeeding well was seen on the faces of all volunteers on the final day of the festival. Epicurus said, “Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”
Niko and Nitsa Economou, who have a summer home in Riverhead said “this was organized. The best festival in years! Nicos Nicolaides Orchestra played non-stop music Saturday night.” Mersina and Demetrios Stagias, festival donors, “we are enjoying the festival for several days.” Erasmia Theodorou, artist and her husband businessman Kosta Theodorou enjoyed Greek frappe coffee and “Yiayia’s Treasures”. “We found a book on John Chrysostom dated 1967,” Erasmia explained.
They have wonderful Greek books on Greek Orthodoxy.” Eleni and Bill Condos said they “never saw so many flowers on the church grounds.” Mrs. Amal Constantine landscaped the church front grounds and back entrance. “Every year I enjoy decorating with perennials,” she explained.
Tony Coutsouros, 2013 Parish Council President, initiated a new festival format with mass advertizing along the North Fork, Greek newspapers, radio and local community papers. Protopresbyter Rev. Constantine Makrinos said “this is the second year in a row that we have a fantastic festival. Volunteers, participating young persons and their families, church tours and new vendors, added to our success.
Manny Constantine, Festival Chairperson, explained “We have a Greek market for the first time. We set up four additional 30×30 tents with a Southold Town permit. Police barricades were placed. Vendors read our ads and sign posts. They asked to participate. We had a refrigerated truck on premises to keep all foods fresh. Byzantine music was played mystical church tours. Food was served from outdoor barbecue to plate.”
A visit by Protopresbyter Alexander Karloutsos cemented unity among Orthodox Churches of Eastern Long Island. Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons had a unique Festival two weeks prior, attracting thousands. Their Greek music was the best in the United States today. Presbyter Constantine Lazarakis said at their Festival “You’ll taste our food…You’ll watch our dancing…You’ll see our craftwork… We’d like to share something about our faith as well.” This theme was repeated at the Transfiguration Church Festival inspired by her sister church in the Hamptons.
The Transfiguration Church of Mattituck is the only parish after Astoria, New York with a large Geek Orthodox community in walking distance. The Church built a Greek Orthodox community. It is a magnet for new residents who want to walk to the beach and local house of worship. The Transfiguration Church is the best thing that ever happened to Breakwater Road. A Greek Orthodox Church presence in the town of Southold keeps the neighborhood safe, with a high quality of life for Middle America.
The 2014 Parish Council Board Committee Members and staff include: Rev. Constantine Makrinos, Protopresbyter; Pantelis Syriodis, President; George Giannoukakis, First Vice President; Irene Kalogeras, Second Vice President; Mary Kavourias, Treasurer; Emmanuel Constantine, Assistant Treasurer: Sophia Lahana, Assistant Treasurer; Argyro Mavrikos, Recording Secretary; Anthi Gatanas, Assistant Recording Secretary; Parish Council Members, Anthony Coutsouros, Nick Lambrianidis; Andreas Markakis, Alex Mavrikos, Nick Neocleous, Calliope Orfanidis, Charlie Pafitis, Elias Tripolitis, Harriet Zanikos, Church Secretary; Festival Co-chairpersons Manny Constantine, , Barbara Thermos, Emily Kavourias, Irene Kalogeras; altar boys, Anastasios Kassapidis, George Zachariadis, George and Emmanuel Moustakos.
The 2014 Philoptohos Board are the following: Virginia Tripolitis, President; Honorary President Cynthia Pylarinos; Sophia Lahana, First Vice President; Second Vice President; Chrystalla Stamatis, Treasurer; Katina Mihaltses, Corresponding Secretary; Lucretia Kratsios, Recording Secretary; Harriet Zannikos, Assistant Treasurer and Voula Anastasiades, Raffles. This is an incomplete list taken from the February, 2014 letter to the community. If any name has been omitted, please contact the Transfiguration Church at 631-298-9652 or e-mail [email protected].
Link: https://picasaweb.google.com/113119187466714282240/2014Transfiguration_Festival- photo album
Photo1- Rev. Alexander Karloutsos (left to right) Mrs. Pope and Peter Pappas and Rev. Constantine Makrinos.
Photo 2- Rev. Makrinos (left to right) Anthi Gatanas, Lily Katos and Rev. Karloutsos.