The annual New Orleans Greek Festival is this Memorial Day weekend on the banks of Bayou St. John and it is one of the most popular festivals we have (and we have A LOT of festivals!). The Greeks have had a presence in New Orleans for over 250 years and their culture has been celebrated in this yearly festival for the past 44 years! Michael Dracos, a wealthy merchant from Athens settled in New Orleans in the mid 1700’s and married a Native American woman. Their daughter married another Greek immigrant in 1799 and they are sited as the FIRST married couple of Greek origin in the United States! New Orleans was also the birthplace of the first Eastern Orthodox Church built in the Western Hemisphere. Like all immigrants, the Greeks brought with them the culture, values, food, and religion from their homeland. For most immigrants who fled the turmoil of their homelands, the ability to practice their religion was of the utmost important and it helped them establish communities in the new world. In 1864, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral was founded and although the original structure is no longer standing, the Holy Trinity Cathedral remains today at its new location on Robert E Lee Boulevard at the end of the Bayou! If you are interested in learning more about the history of this church and people, we recommend taking a tour of the Cathedral, which will be offered several times a day during the festival this weekend.