TheĀ Tampa Greek Festival 2013 is known as Hillsborough County's longest running cultural celebration. For over 30 years, the three day festival has put a smile on thousands of faces. Every year it is held at the St John Baptist Orthodox Church. This year, the Greek madness will begin Friday, November 8th at 11am and will go through to Sunday, November 10th ending at 6pm.

There is so much to discover at this family-friendly event, and you have three days to enjoy it all! After the weekend, you will feel as if you were born into the Greek heritage. Each day will feature freshly-prepared Mediterranean food and pastries (yum!), live music and choreographed dance, shopping, and more!

Take a stroll through the church's beautiful Grand Hall, and do so with a big appetite! This is where guests will have the chance to feast on mouth-watering Mediterranean meals and deliciously sweet Greek pastries. The menu includes Greek lemon chicken, slow simmered lamb shank, gyros, Greek lasagna (pastitsio), Greek meatballs (keftedes), and many more savory favorites! Let's not forget about the sweet side of their menu which will include honey soakedĀ Baklava, Kourambiethes which are Greek wedding cookies, and rippled pastries complete with honey, nuts, and syrup which are know as Diples. There will also be made-to-order Greek coffee, frappes, coffee cocktails, and American coffee. On the go? They offer take out!

After you fill up on all of that Greek sustenance, dance your way over to the Opa! Party Tent. The 5,000 square-foot outdoor oasis is the perfect spot to relax and rewind while enjoying a cocktail, munching on Greek finger foods, and enjoy festive Greek music. Inside the tent you will find the Opa! Bar, grill chefs serving freshly prepared loukaniko and gyros, and live music provided by John Demas & The Omega Project. Of course everyone will be dancing, so don't be afraid to get down with them!

Can't dance? That's okay, you can watch how the professionals do it instead and get inspired. There will be dance groups to entertain everyone, including the exciting and physical Glendi young adult dance group, the Panigyri's who bring a more sophisticated approach to ancient steps, and Greek church dance groups who will also provide a spectacular experience. The church's youngest members will also be entertaining the crowd as they dance around in traditional Greek costumes.

This memorable festival is one you do not want to miss! It is authentic, unique, and it is like walking through Old Town in Athens. There will be vendors throughout selling one-of-a-kind purses, wearable Greek art, Jerusalem wood, wooden puzzles, and custom jewelry. Don't miss out on a truly unique shopping experience!

As I mentioned before, this is a family friendly event; which means there is a kid's zone to be enjoyed! Parents are welcome to enjoy the fun too! There will be giant bounce houses, crafts, games, treats, and plenty more.

Entrance at the door is only $2, and if you get there between 11am and 4pm on Friday, admission is free! Children under 12 and military & family receive free admission all three days. Parking is free the entire weekend.