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Best Cultural Festival 

Oakland Greek Festival

Opa! The East Bay's best got-it-going-on cultural party of the year is the nearly forty-year-old shindig known as the Oakland Greek Festival, which happens every May at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension. Traffic on Lincoln and Highway 13 comes to a standstill for this three-day Greekfest that celebrates the food, drink, music, dances, products, customs, history, etc., of Greece while showing off the church and its grounds. Admission is cheap, so festivalgoers can put all their dough into buying gyros (always the longest line), retsina, baklava, spanakopita, saganaki cheese, and other edible treats. Buy full dinners in the dining hall or, better yet, stroll the platia vendors and sample delicacies à la carte — lamb chops, lamb sandwiches, calamari. Mmm. Stop at the taverna for loukoumades. Learn a folk dance, tour the chapel, and then stop at the kafenion for Greek coffee and pastries galore (order extra sweets to take home). Feels like being in Greece without even leaving the Oakland Hills.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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