Like most things Greek, the Salt Lake City Greek Festival has a long history. It first began in 1935 and lasted a single day. These days, 50,000 visitors stop by the three-day celebration to enjoy singing, music, dance, a 5/10K run and, of course, food.
Like many ancient cultures marred by war but uplifted in celebration, Greece is rich in dance. Holy Trinity Cathedral’s Byzantine-style art and architecture provide a vivid backdrop for local youth dance groups—13 to 23 years old—including the Athenian, Parthenon, Olympian and Dionysius troupes. They’ll be busting moves to ancient dances like Kalamatiano (the national dance of Greece and typically the first danced at a celebration), Hasapiko (once the dance of the Butcher’s Guild of Constantinople during the Byzantine period), Tsamiko (Pan-Hellenic war dance) and many more. Then, the faster-paced MinoTavros Cretan dance group—16 to 21 years old—perform to live music with more precision, showing off grace and strength. You’ll be shouting “Opa!” again and again.