Madison’s Greek Fest has officially been canceled over concerns of spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church announced Wednesday.
Greek Fest Plus 2020 was scheduled for July 25-26 at the corner of Milwaukee and Seventh streets on the East Side, but now won’t be held until 2021. The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, which hosts the event, said the celebration is Madison’s longest-running ethnic festival.
“Canceling Greek Fest gives us the time to pause and assess what our church needs right now, as we do our part to keep our community healthy during these challenging times,” Greek Fest chair Maria Schirmer Devitt said in a statement.
The festival started in 1963 as an annual church picnic, but grew over the years into a block party with music, food and dancing, the church said. The celebration’s name was changed to add the word “plus” to acknowledge the multi-ethnic church community, which includes people from Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Jordan, Ethiopia and Greece.
The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church is currently holding only online worship services because of the pandemic.