Florida State Fair 2009


13 hours a day for 12 consecutive days the parish manned its booth in the main exhibition hall at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Despite the economy, overall attendance ecceeded 425,000.  The reception of our display was beyond what we had expected. Thousands of visitors thanked us for "sharing such beautiful things with [them]". As expected, Archbishop Dmitri's miter, which he loaned to us, was the most admired item in our display. We lost track of the number of unchurched Orthodox that we gave directions to for the Orthodox parish near them.  Inquirers were given more detailed information and literature and were invited to visit an Orthodox church near them. Innumerable visitors stopped to ask us what is Orthodoxy, and what do we believe. On the final night of the Fair a passerby was heard to say to his companion "All of the [protestant] churches and only the Orthodox are here to witness to Jesus." To Him belongs the glory." We have planted, God will supply the rain. Others may reap but "the reaper and the sower shall rejoice together." 

Welcome to the Fair
Part of the finished product.
The booth mocked up at the church.
The finished product at the church
The walls go up at the fair.
The first day Fr. Joseph and Julie man the booth.
Jean and Jan are ready to meet and greet visitors.
The chalice, archbishop's miter and the gospel book get people to stop and look.
The beauty of our exhibit. The mannequin wears a stole embroidered with icons from Greece.
The table covering has a photo of our iconostasis dyed into it.
See you in 2010.