SAINT SOPHIA HOSTS ANNUAL FESTIVAL
By Dimitri G. Soultogiannis
Special to the Hellenic News of America
Jeffersonville, PA—The Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church hosted its annual Festival from May 29th through June 2nd in Jeffersonville PA. The hosts told HNA the festival was a great success and were happy with the turn out especially during the festival’s last day.
John Pogas one of the parish member and volunteers at the St. Sophia Greek Festival told HNA that he loves coming out all weekend and working the staggering hours, donating his time and effort. He summed it up in a few simple words,”Comradery amongst fellow Greeks and parishoners”. He didn’t have to think twice, blink or even take a deep breath before answering. It’s really that simple.
There’s a love of community and kinship that’s very evident here that makes this community and their festival a special family affair. Smiling faces line every booth while a classic looking Greek Bouzouki player welcomes you to the main tent, with grin and tune. The sweetest Yiayias serve you the sweets and authentic looking Greek men work the souvles to order. It’s a labor of love and consistency that continues to build as tradition. With that tradition in mind, the dance troupe is also building and growing says Carnation Karos, dance instructor at St. Sophia. Every few hours, the church dance troupes performed dances from all over Greece and then went on to help serve the food through out the day. Built just a little over a year ago, St. Sophia continues to be a growing presence both locally and inside the Greek community. The dance troupe has now doubled in size. There are two dance troupes (both junior and senior) now with 18 members in each and are part of the foundation that has established a growing presence in the church.
According to the chairman for the Building Committee of Saint Sophia Mr. Dean Laskaris the church includes beautiful grounds, it is a unique Byzantine church and tour, food, dancing and endless games for the kids make this a special event with a Greek flavor like no other in the Delaware Valley. “Whenever we leave St. Sophia, the shining Cross on the hill is the last thing we see. It’s beaming golden rays remind us of the magic and warmth of it’s people and keep us coming back for more,” he added.
The Hellenic News of America also spoke to the community’s pastor Rev. Economos Peter Thornberg. “We are truly grateful for your generous support over these many years. Your patronage has helped us to realize our dream of having a permanent house of worship. During your visit please support the sponsors of our Business Village as well as the sponsors who have participated in our Festival Magazine and Program,” he said
From the Hellenic News of America, congratulations to the volunteers, family’s and friends and all those who help make this event and their church a wonderful place.
Photo 1- Dean Laskaris, Tony Pantazopoulos, Friends and Paul Kotrotsios
Photo 2- St. Sophia’s Delicious Food Court