Hey, Zeus 

This weekend, the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Highland will smell like olive oil, oregano, roast lamb, and crispy char-grilled chicken. Heaven, in other words. The Memphis Greek Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary on Friday, May 9th, and Saturday, May 10th. In honor of this big, fat milestone, here's a brief history of this beloved Memphopolis institution.

• 500 B.C.: Democracy is invented in Athens by Cleisthenes, an Athenian of noble birth, who did away with the old tribal system and developed a government that was semi-inclusive and somewhat participatory, where every freeborn adult male citizen had the right to throw his weight around.

• 399 B.C.: After pioneering the western world's most influential school of philosophy based on logical inquiry and self-knowledge, Socrates, a talky stone mason, discovers problems in early democracy when he's put to death for introducing Athenian youth to radical ideas about freedom and justice.

• 1958 A.D.: In Memphis, Tennessee, democracy and logic are perfected when distant descendents of Cleisthenes and Socrates decide it only makes sense to give the people what they want: delicious spinach and feta cheese pies served in wax paper at a reasonable price. The Memphis Greek Festival is born! There is music and dancing. Manly men kiss other manly men, and it's not weird. Much.

• 2008 A.D.: The Memphis Greek Festival introduces Nicos, a hairy, toga-wearing cartoon reveler who looks like a Mennonite at a Rainbow Gathering. He is the event's new mascot, but don't let that scare you away.

Memphis Greek Festival at the annunciation greek orthodox church, Friday, May 9th-Saturday, May 10th, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. $2. Parking is free. Shuttle-bus rides will be available from Crichton College and Poplar Plaza.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Alpha

Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square

News Blog

MATA Looks to Hire More Trolley Operators

Music Blog

Listen Up: Cruelty of the Heavens

News Blog

VIDEO: SUV Driver Swerves Into Cyclists

Intermission Impossible

Ostranders to Honor Memphis Performers Who Died During 2017-18 Season

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (August 16-22)

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation