SCHENECTADY — The St. George Greek Orthodox Church has decided to cancel its annual Greek festival due to the continued concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival planning committee announced on Friday.
The festival, which was scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11-13, has drawn large crowds each year to the Clinton Street church for Greek food and a celebration of Greek culture. Combined with the StreetFest held the same weekend within walking distance in the Little Italy section of Jay Street, it has been a major attraction for the city.
The organizers of the StreetFest announced last week that there would not be a traditional StreetFest this year, with its tight-packed crowds and live music, but the restaurants and businesses will be doing small things to commemorate the day, such as takeout specials and Facebook Live demonstrations.
For the church, the festival has been a major fundraiser for the last 44 years, as well as a way to highlight Greek heritage, culture and religion for Capital Region residents who may not be familiar with them.
“We are saddened to cancel this year’s event, but due to the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is necessary to proceed with an abundance of caution,” said Parish Council President Brian Goodale. “The safety and health of our volunteers and patrons is of utmost importance. We thank everyone for their many years of support and look forward to greeting our guests next year. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this crisis.”
Both festivals are traditionally held the weekend after Labor Day. In 2021, they will be Sept. 10, 11, and 12.