St. George Middle Eastern Festival
The St. George Festival will be held September 12-13 for the first time at the new location of St. George Orthodox Christian Church, 10748 East 116th Street in Fishers. The church sponsored the Middle Eastern Festival for 17 years at its prior location in Indianapolis, and the newly revamped festival builds on that Middle Eastern heritage, offering many popular features of previous events.
“We’re still celebrating our Middle Eastern roots, but at the same time we’re expanding the format,” explains Brad Tirey, festival director. “In the past, it’s been just food, drink, and dance. We are adding other activities, demonstrations, cultural events, and more attractions for youth, including hot air balloons and a carnival area.”
Why change the name of the festival? Parish priest Father Nabil Hanna says, “We want to honor the various other traditions of all the people who have joined and make up St. George today. We are extremely diverse. We have people of backgrounds from many countries across the world.”
What’s different about this festival? “Two things,” says Fr. Nabil. “One is that it’s at our new location on 116th Street with a new Byzantine temple and beautiful iconography. The Indianapolis Star called it ‘the number one thing to see or do in Fishers this summer.’ We are inviting everybody to come and celebrate with us.” Tours will explain the church’s unique architecture, as well as iconography that was recently installed by renowned iconographer Dr. George Kordis, of the University of Athens, Greece.
“Secondly, we are trying to make the festival a little more interactive; not to just come, buy food, and sit down with music playing in the background. You are able to move around, see different things, different demonstrations—try out different things while you are here,” explains Fr. Nabil.
What’s going to be the same as previous festivals? “Fantastic food, live entertainment, and all of the welcoming people of St. George who want our guests to see what we’re about,” says Brad Tirey. “We hope to continue the spirit of hospitality for which we have become known.”
Festival hours are 5-11 p.m. on Friday, September 12 and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, September 13. Free admission. Offsite parking is available for $5 at Fall Creek Community Church, 10401 East 116th Street (within walking distance). Shuttle buses will run throughout the festival. Due to festival activities, parking at the St. George lot will not be available.
About St. George Orthodox Christian Church:
St. George Orthodox Church was established in 1926 and ministers to Orthodox Christians of a great diversity of backgrounds. It is a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. After worshipping together for more than 50 years at its prior location on Sherman Drive, the parish purchased land in Fishers and built a new Byzantine-style church building. St. George’s congregation began worshipping in their new facilities in November of 2013 and held the official door opening ceremony in May of 2014.