Anyone who has been to Santa Barbara’s Greek Festival-and this year’s is the 36th one, so if you haven’t been, why not?-knows the highlight has to be the wonderful tent of baked goods, wall-to-wall trays filled with the honeyed goodness of baklava, kataifi, kourambiedes, koulourakia, and melomakarona. These delights form a pantheon of the pastry, tempting you to eat more than you should-which would be a shame, as you wouldn’t then have room for any spanakopita or gyros, not to mention moussaka or souvlaki. I know the Greek Festival is about a lot more than food, as there’s a marketplace and music and dancing, but there’s also Greek food, and sticky, honeyed fingers on a hot day are one of many Santa Barbara summer’s essential rituals. The festival is Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oak Park. The Santa Barbara Greek Festival ( is sponsored by the Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church.


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