The Erie Book 2013 Stacked Books  
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4376 West Lake Road • Erie, PA • 16505 • 814-838-8808 •

Many in Erie’s small but proud Greek community worship in the beautiful Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. The basilica, with its Byzantine architecture outside and stunning iconography inside, wows parishioners and visitors alike. Parishioners, led by longtime pastor Reverend Theofanis Nacopoulos, helped construct the current church on West Lake Road in 1988 after their old worship space on 10th and Sassafras streets was ravaged by fire. “Our church community is full of wonderful people who care very deeply about each other,” says Father Nacopoulos.

Every July, those dedicated parishioners and friends transform the grounds of the church into a Greek paradise. The annual “Panegyri” Greek Festival brings an estimated 40,000 each summer to take in Greek cuisine, pastries, music, dancing and art. “Whether you have a sweet tooth for baklava or loukoumades, a hankering for a leg of lamb or a gyro, an eye for beautiful Greek art or a need to get out on the dance floor, the Greek Festival has something to offer everyone,” says Father Nacopoulos. The year 2013 marked the church’s 25th annual festival; an incredible fireworks display during the three-day event marked the festival’s silver anniversary.

Father Nacopoulos is especially proud of the church community’s children. “We have great kids in our church,” he says. “They dance, help with the festival, participate in Sunday School, serve as altar boys and represent our community well. I think they are what set us apart from other communities. They are our pride and joy.”

The Greek Ladies Philoptochos Society represents the church through its stewardship of the community. The group hosts a craft fair every autumn and most of their members assist in food preparation before each year’s Greek Festival. “The Philoptochos is an integral part of our church,” Father Nacopoulos says. “They help with so much and we are grateful for all they do.”

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