Plus, Aliyah Boston award Rookie of the Year.
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Today’s Forecast

82º | Afternoon thunderstorms | 56% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:06 a.m. | Sunset 7:34 p.m.

Olive your Greek Fest info
The Exterior of The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | Clark Berry Photography | Clark Berry
Opa! The Greek Festival begins today at 10 a.m. and runs through Sunday evening at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 1931 Sumter St.

Here’s what to expect at the 36th annual celebration of Greek culture happening Thursday, September 14 through Sunday, Sept. 17.

Take a tour

Free tours of the sanctuary and interior of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral are a must-do of the festival. Visitors are welcome inside to see the iconography in the narthex + cathedral along with updates to the sanctuary. Pro tip — no food or drink is allowed in the church and be sure to dress appropriately.

Holy Trinity Greek OC Int

The Interior of The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | Clark Berry Photography


Clark Berry

What’s on the menu?

Authentic Greek cuisine is the top attraction at the festival, and for that, you’ll want to wait in line for food from the inside kitchen.

For lunch
  • One-Half Broiled Greek Style Chicken — seasoned with lemon and spices and served with manestra
  • Keftedes — Greek-style meatballs with avgolemono (egg + lemon sauce) served on a bed of manestra
For dinner (lunch items are available, plus three more dishes)
  • Greek Style Roasted Lamb — served on evening with a bed of manestra (available Thursday + Saturday)
  • Pastichio — layers of macaroni and seasoned meat sauce baked with béchamel sauce (available Thursday)
  • Peasant Shrimp — shrimp sautéed with onions and feta cheese served on a bed of manestra (available Friday)
Sweet treat
  • Don’t miss the dessert opportunities in the gymnasium where you can build your own box of Greek pastries with 20+ items to choose from.
Editors pick — David likes to go with the Pastichio + Sam goes for the chicken platter with rice, salad, and Greek potatoes.


Grab your lunch and then find a spot in front of the band. | Photo by COLAtoday

By the numbers

170,000 — the number of people who attend the annual festival, making it one of the most popular events in the Midlands.

$400,000 — the amount Columbia’s Greek Festival has donated to charity over the past several years.
Thursday, Sept. 14
  • Mt. Joy | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 8 p.m. | The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St., Columbia | $35-$46 | Groove to Mt. Joy — a five-piece indie rock band based in Los Angeles with roots in Philadelphia.
  • The Sound of Music | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 7:30-10:30 p.m. | Town Theatre, 1012 Sumter St., Columbia | $15-$25 | Don’t miss the kickoff to Town Theatre’s 104th season.
Friday, Sept. 15
  • Daniel Tosh: Sweet T Tour | Friday, Sept. 15 | 7 p.m. | The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St., Columbia | $38-$73 | Enjoy stand up comedy from TV host and comedian Daniel Tosh featuring his signature wit and unapologetic humor.
  • Noah Cyrus: The Hardest Part Tour | Friday, Sept. 15 | 8 p.m. | The Senate, 1022B Senate St., Columbia | $28 | Get tickets to see Noah Cyrus and hear hits like “July” and “All Falls Down.”
Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland St., Columbia | Free | Now in its 45th year, this free festival brings musicians, artisans, and storytellers together to celebrate SC’s Black history and culture.
  • Swap Meet | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 2-5 p.m. | femme x Columbia, 1501 Richland St., Columbia | Free | Browse a variety of vendors offering home goods, clothing, art, handmade items, and furniture for sale or barter.
  • Carolina Food Truck Festival | Saturday, Sept. 16-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Charles W. Johnson Stadium, 1920 Two Notch Rd., Columbia | $35-$50 | Enjoy giveaways, music, entertainment, family-friendly fun, and good food.
Friday, Sept. 22
  • 50 Years of Folly | Friday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Oct. 1 | Times vary | Folly Beach, Center St., Folly Beach | Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Folly Beach with street closure festivals, shagging and disco on the pier, a classic car show, a 20’s-themed gala, classic carnival games, and more for all ages.*
Click here to have your event featured.
Doctors’ Orders: Eating healthy at Cafe Strudel
What would a doctor order for brunch? Eggsellent question. | Photo via Unsplash
We’re back with another round of Doctors’ Orders, a series in which Midlands physicians weigh in on what to eat at some of our favorite local restaurants.

Today, we’re sipping a cup of coffee and perusing the menu at Cafe Strudel with Dr. Scott Graupner, oncologist with Lexington Medical Cancer Center.

“Cafe Strudel is known for their brunch, so I’m picking the smoked salmon omelet,” says Dr. Graupner. “Sticking close to the Mediterranean style diet with tomato, spinach, a leaner goat cheese, and of course the salmon!”

“A Mediterranean diet is generally what I recommend as we’ve seen a decreased risk for development of common cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate, as well as a risk reduction in recurrence for patients who have battled these cancers.”
News Notes
  • Well, that didn’t take long. Aliyah Boston, who graduated from USC in May, was awarded the Associated Press Rookie of the Year. Aliyah was the No. 1 pick in WNBA draft and has continued to dominate the paint like she did for the Gamecocks for four years. (Bally Sports)
  • The 63-year-old Columbia City Ballet has rebranded as South Carolina Ballet. Artistic director William Starrett told the Free Times that the name better represents its statewide legacy and its identity during nationwide tours, given that there are 28 other cities named Columbia.
  • Lights, camera, Christmas music. The tradition of Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing holiday shows continues with two nights of music at Colonial Life Arena. The exhilarating group will do two shows on Friday, Dec. 8 — the first at 3 p.m. followed by another at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.
  • Walk Bike Columbia is looking for volunteers for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Counts through Sept. 23. These counts, often overlooked in traffic studies, influence city landscape decisions. Help is needed on Saturdays (Sept. 9, 16, 23) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and select weekdays from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Soda City Market is hosting a Community Yard Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. Sign up to sell, trade, and barter your gently used tchotchkes, gizmos, gadgets, and more.
  • Refinance rates are skyrocketing. But home equity rates remain relatively low — which means that now is a great time to borrow against your home. Calculate your payment.*
Paint around town
Tunnell Vision.jpeg
Blue Sky’s Tunnel Vision mural in downtown Columbia. | Photo by COLAtoday
We all know that the Soda City has a vibrant art scene — and we’re not just talking about the Columbia Museum of Art or the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. One of our all-time favorite galleries? Columbia itself.

The Soda City is home to several meaningful murals and street art pieces. Today, we’re sharing where to find pieces that really paint a picture of our city.

Cayce Arts District, Cayce | Various Artists

In 2015, Cayce Mayor Elise Partin attended the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, where she introduced the idea of “prerevitalization” to connect art, community, and business. Now there are four murals, an art lot, and several buildings painted in the area.
City Guide presented by AllSouth Federal Credit Union.
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The Wrap
David Stringer wearing a dark button-down shirt Today’s edition by:
From the editor
I’m excited to share that I’ll return as a judge at this year’s Palmetto Peanut Boil benefiting the Animal Mission. Last year, I joked that I was qualified because I had a lifetime of Cromer’s and roadside boiled peanuts from across the Southeast. This year, the 16th annual event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 on Devine Street.
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