September 13, 2007


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Publisher's Note: Glendified weekend
By Jody Reese

With more than 200 volunteers working more than 17,000 man-hours, the folks at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Hanover Street in Manchester are ready for their annual Glendi celebration. The community celebration is held this weekend, Friday through Sunday.

Glendi is a festival of Greek food and culture put on by the congregation of Saint George. It started a generation ago as a fundraiser and has continued to grow. Today, it is one of the most-attended events in the state and has won Hippo’s best festival for years. And there’s good reason for that — and reason why you should attend this year, and it’s not just the food.

It’s the people.

Saint George invites the community in and not just the Greek community. It’s sort of like St. Patrick’s Day. At Glendi, everyone is Greek, which is to say that everyone is welcome. And that comes through in who attends — families with grandma, people with kids, young and boomer couples with no kids.

Glendi has become a must-stop event for people running for something. It’s just before Manchester’s city primary and you can bet that some of the guys running for president will be there pressing the flesh.

Of course, there is the food, from gyros to spanakopita to baklava ice cream to diples — all of which you and your kids will love.

If you have never been, take this weekend to attend. The food and people are great. You’ll meet neighbors and you’ll be supporting a church that supports it community.

Make your weekend Glendified and you’ll be better and feel better for it.

On a different note…
With last season’s demise of the long-struggling New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, it appeared that Manchester would be without a series of professional classical concerts. Yes, the New Hampshire Philharmonic, a great community orchestra, continues playing at the Palace Theatre. But with the NHSO gone, Manchester would rank among the largest cities in the nation without a professional symphony.

Fortunately, the Palace Theatre has stepped up to the plate, or the podium, with the creation of the New Hampshire Festival Orchestra. Led by local conductor Robert C. Babb, the group hopes to keep alive the long tradition of classical music at the Palace with concerts offering great music and a business plan based on realistic financials.

The new orchestra’s first concert is Sunday, Sept. 30, and everything’s in place except one thing — you. If Manchester is going to serve as home to its own orchestra, the community needs to get behind it. It’s worth the effort. A professional orchestra is an important sign that Manchester offers a high quality of life, which is crucial to the city’s long-term economic future.