Summer’s end means Greek Festival time

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — Tickets are available now for a trip to Greece in your own backyard. The annual Greek Festival at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church is set from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 8 and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 9 at 3459 Manchester Ave.Admission is $3 for adults and free for children under 12. Free parking is available at adjacent Mira Costa College. For two days, the church grounds are transformed into a quaint Greek village atmosphere where you can experience fine food, traditional Greek dancing, and Greek hospitality. An open marketplace includes Greek imports, pottery, fine jewelry, artwork, Greek deli specialty food, a selection of special Greek wines and an array of items at YiaYia’s (Grandma’s) Treasures. Visit the North County Greek School booth and learn to say and write your name in Greek. Then get a personalized T-shirt with your name in Greek letters. While adults are shopping, the children can enjoy the Olympics themed Fun Zone with crafts, game booths and miniature golf.

The church’s folk dance troupes, Armonia, Neo Kyma Dancers, Elpida and Opalakia will perform in full traditional dress on the outdoor patio. The visitors can also try Greek dancing in the Taverna to the live music of The Olympians.

Church tours will be held each day at noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. A live auction will take place at 5 p.m. both days. The annual drawing for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sedan will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 9. Raffle tickets are $10 each and limited to 7,500 sold. Tickets can be purchased at the festival or on the web site at and you need not be present to win.

All proceeds benefit the church building fund and charities including many organizations in Africa, the Japan earthquake effort, Kids n’ Cancer and the Community Resource Center in Encinitas. For more information, visit