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Posted on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 9:14 a.m.

Ya'ssoo Greek Festival this weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

My children and I attend a lot of cultural festivals, so my children are cultural festival connoisseurs the way other more normal people might be connoisseurs of gourmet food or fine art. It is a rare festival that holds the children’s attention year after year, even as they get older and begin to outgrow some of the things they used to love when they were younger.

The Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor is one of those events that the children continue to cherish, in part because it is our chance to learn a little more about the children’s Greek heritage, in part to see their friends and classmates dance, and in part (ok, in large part) because of the food! As the blue and white signs have been popping up all over town these past few weeks, the anticipation (and salivation) has been steadily building, especially as we drive past St. Nick’s beautiful copper dome on Scio Church Road.

The Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor is this weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 4, 5, and 6, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The festival features authentic Greek food, homemade Greek pastries, Greek beer and wine, live Greek music, Greek dancing, Greek shopping, and “the chance to be Greek for a day.” There is also a prominent display of Greek American history, and there are hourly tours of St. Nicholas’ Byzantine-style church. The Detroit band Enigma and the Ya'ssoo House Band are festival staples, as are the Kyklos Hellenic Dancers and the St. Nicholas Dancers. This year, St. Nicholas parish is also celebrating its 75th anniversary.

I wrote a full review of the event for this month's Ann Arbor Observer. Click here to read's article. Or check out this video:

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is located at 3109 Scio Church Road, Ann Arbor, 48103. Festival hours are Friday and Saturday 11am - midnight, Sunday noon - 6pm. Admission is $3 after 4pm Fri and 1pm Sat, children 12 and under are free, Sunday everyone is free. Free parking and shuttle at Knox Presbyterian Church a half mile away.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at