Sunday, 7 August 2011

Greek festival 2011 (1)

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  Yesterday I went to the Toronto Greek festival on Danforth avenue which is called the”Taste of the Danforth” and it was packed! I had lots of Greek food, souvlaki, gyros and quail, from the street vendors and took quite a few pictures to share with my readers. Although the weather stations called for rain, it turned out to be a very nice day. From the festival website:
Toronto's favourite street festival has a whole new way to celebrate the fun flavours of Greece and summer in the city. Every year in August, the city of Toronto flocks to GreekTown on the Danforth. Celebrating its 18th year, the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is Canada's largest street festival, welcoming over 1.3 million visitors.

This year's festival begins on Friday, August 5th at 6:00pm and runs through to Sunday, August 7th at 8:00pm.

A Decima Research poll indicated that 90% of respondents identified "The Taste" as their favourite GTA festival event -- beating out such iconic events as the Toronto International Film Festival, Caribana and Pride Week. The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth won two Toronto Sun Reader's Choice Awards: a Gold for Favourite Community Festival and a Silver for Favourite Summer Festival.

The GTA lays claim to more than 200,000 residents of Greek ancestry, the third largest Hellenic community outside of Greece, and between August 5th and 7th, 2011, everyone who comes to the Danforth gets to be "Greek for the day". But there is much more than the celebration of the Danforth's Greek heritage at the festival. Here is a "taste" of what to expect ...

There are a number of exhibitors offering contests, prizes and free samples and, of course, dozens and dozens of tasty food stations from Danforth’s amazing array of multi-ethnic restaurants.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to win an incredible Trip for Two to Glorious Greece, courtesy of Transat Holidays.

About the Taste of the Danforth

The Taste of the Danforth was founded 17 years ago in 1994 by the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA. The first festival featured 23 restaurateurs and an eclectic mix of tastes from tasting tables. Approximately 5,000 people attended in the inaugural year. In its second year, attendance had grown to 100,000 and by 1996 the festival had become so large that the Danforth had to be officially closed down to accommodate its over 500,000 visitors. Today approximately 1.3 million attendees flock to the Danforth -- from Broadview to Jones Avenue (approximately 3 kilometres) -- to enjoy food, entertainment and culture, providing them with a 'taste' of what the Danforth area has to offer year-round.

The festival is supported by Ontario Tourism ... Ontario, Yours To Discover, as well as the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

The festival's title sponsor is Pilaros International Trading Inc. Pilaros is a leading importer of Mediterranean food products, primarily olives and olive oil, what the ancient Greeks refer to as "the Essence of Life".

The festival is produced and presented by the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA, representing all the restaurateurs and merchants. The festival is organized by the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA Board and a volunteer committee led by Constantine Voidonicolas, who devote their private time to make the festival happen. Without their outstanding efforts, the festival simply could not take place.

In 2010 the festival commissioned an Economic Impact Study which revealed that the Taste of the Danforth makes a significant impact on the local economy, generating $32 million in economic activity. Event-related spending alone supports the equivalent of 158 full-year jobs. The festival also generated approximately $4 million in tax revenue.

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