The first Greek festivals often took an unfortunate turn when Sirens took the music stage and compelled audience members to attempt ill-advised stage dives. Celebrate Greek culture and avoid getting coaxed into ill-advised situations with today’s GrouponLive deal: for $20, you get four single-day admissions (a $20 value), two raffle tickets (a $20 value), and a $10 fare voucher at Pasadena Greek Fest, held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia (a $50 total value). Festival hours are 5 p.m.–1 a.m. on Friday, September 16; 12 p.m.–1 a.m. on Saturday, September 17; and 12 p.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday, September 18.
Santa Anita Park transforms into a vision of the Parthenon for a weekend-long festival that celebrates Greek heritage with authentic cuisine, live music and dancing, and a host of Hellenocentric activities. The schedule of events will have families yelling “Opa!” as they kick off the day with live music by the Olympians and proceed through an afternoon of traditional folk dances and cooking demos presented by celebrity chefs at the Hellenic Theater. Delicious skewers of souvlakia and hot pita-wrapped gyros paint palates blue and white at the fare tables, where visitors can use their $10 credit to purchase a main entree or load up on fresh-baked baklava. A Kids’ Zone keeps the youngsters entertained while parents attend presentations on Byzantine art and the Orthodox church or learn how to use a Trojan horse to get backstage at concerts.
A grand prize raffle drawing wraps up the festivities at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, though Saturday’s visitors need not be present to reap their dream travel certificate or $2,500 in cash. Nightly drawings present even more opportunities to win big, with Apple iPads, cash prizes, and gift certificates all on the table.