Mattituck ChurchFestival Has Record Crowds

byCatherine Tsounis

Ninety-seven degree temperatures and thunder storms were not obstacles in enjoying the 2006 Transfiguration of Christ Church Festival on Breakwater Road in Mattituck, New York. Record breaking crowds of persons attended the three day Festival from Friday, July 28th through Sunday, July 30th. The major attraction was the home made cuisine for reasonable prices. The Greek pastries were a magnet to many East End residents who wanted loucoumades (fried honey balls), baklava, kataifi (shredded wheat baklava) kourabiedes (shortbread cookies in confectioners sugar), koulourakia (butter cookies) and melomacarona (honey dipped cookies). Everyone left happy, wanting to return again the following year.

The Skrepetos Band entertained all on Saturday evening, July 29th, with a guest appearance by bouzouki player, George Stavrou. Hearing Hellenic melodies in the middle of farm fields under a starlit evening sky was an incredible experience. Adults, teenagers and children enjoyed dancing to folk music, including toddler Sarah Alessi. She is the daughter of Democratic Assemblyman Marc Alessi of Assembly District #1, which encompasses Northeastern Brookhaven to Orient Point.

Members of the Transfiguration church
preparing fried honey dipped dough pastries.

"The Greek community's culture transcends the North Fork and protects a unique way of life," believes Assemblyman Alessi, who is completing his first year. "I enjoy being in the New York State Assembly. I have fought and secured state aid for local schools, keeping property taxes down in 2006. I am an Independent who is attempting to help the middle class homeowner. Currently, I am trying to get electric bills lowered by LIPA." Assemblyman Marc Alessi's ancestry is from Sicily and Naples, Southern Italy, the heartland of ancient Greek colonization in the West. "My wife, Gretchen, enjoyed the mousaka (Greek eggplant parmesan with chop meat sauce). We are coming back again next year."

"Barbara and I come with our family and friends every year," said Judge Willie Thompson. "We like the people who welcome us with warmth." Rev. Dionisios Marketos, pastor of the Transfiguration Church added that "the parish council and I would like to thank everyone who worked in the kitchen."

Assemblyman Marc Alessi talking with the
ladies of the Transfiguration community

Rev. Dionisios Marketos and Assemblyman
Alessi (standing) with Mr. Anastasiades
(3rd from left)and friends at the Festival.

(Posting date 11
August 2006)

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