3-Day Greek Festival Opens in Ocean


OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean Township is sponsoring a Greek Festival from Fri., June 28 to Sun., June 30 with Greek food, games, music and rides.

The festival will be held at the church site at 1033 West Park Ave., Ocean Township. Admission is $2.

The church is celebrating 83 years beginning first in Asbury Park before moving to its new home in Ocean Township.

The first officially recorded church service by the Hellenic Community of Asbury Park was held in the basement of the Asbury Park Library on Saint Demetrios Day, October 26, 1929. Saint George was officially designated as the Patron Saint by George S. Pappayliou, the Godfather, who bestowed the church with the name ‘Saint George Greek Orthodox Community and Church of Asbury Park.

The community purchased the Interlaken Hotel on Sixth Avenue, Asbury Park, which housed the church from 1937 to 1947. The parish was served by many temporary priests, but prayers for a permanent priest were answered when Reverend Spyridon Coutros was reassigned from Ohio and began his ministry at Saint George in September, 1947.

As the community flourished, the need for a church building became essential. In 1943, a committee was formed to select a site in Asbury Park for a new church. Property was purchased at 700 Grand Avenue, and in 1949 the parishioners of Asbury Park celebrated Divine Liturgy in their own house of worship, 20 years after their first official church service in the basement of the library. Property for a church cemetery was acquired in Neptune in 1954, and in 1957, Saint George Greek Orthodox Cemetery officially opened.

The church continued to prosper and in 1975 started the three-day festivals.

For over twenty five years, a new church home was a dream and the members of the community were dedicated to making this dream a reality. A building committee was established to find a site for a future church complex in a nearby community. A tract of land on West Park Avenue in Ocean Township was recommended to the Parish Council for approval. The land was purchased, and the building fund was formed. An architect was chosen to submit plans for the new church and community center.

On Sunday, April 1, 2012 the community celebrated the Thyranixia, the official opening of the doors, of the new House of Worship at 1033 West Park Avenue in Ocean Township.

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