It’s an impressive shopping list; more than 7,000 pita breads, 12,000 donairs, 20 cases of eggplant, and more than two dozen 25-pound cases of tomatoes.

“People are tired of the McDonald’s and Burger Kings and all that stuff,” said Tino Klironomos. The co-chair of Halifax Greek Fest 2008 doesn’t mince his words — a good number of the 20,000 visitors come for the food.

“You can get food anywhere in the city, but this is different, with entertainment going on around you,” he said.

Taking place this weekend, the 23rd annual festival will feature Ottawa-based dance group Odyssey, dance and Greek language lessons, music from the band Poseidon, and wine tastings of vintages like Xsinomavro, Savatiano and Moshofilaro.

A shuttle has also been set up to take people from the West End Mall to the festival, located at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.

“It’s something to get you out of the house. It is the official kick-off to summer,” said Klironomos about the event.

Other summer cultural festivals include the Nova Scotia Multicultural Fest on June 20 through 22, The Kirkin ’O’ The Tartans highland games and Scottish festival on July 13, and the Lebanese Summer Festival during the second weekend in July.

For a full schedule of events, visit