The 84th Annual Greek Festival is happening Sept. 26, 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, featuring Greek food, coffee and company. Diners can purchase advance tickets or Opa Cards at four locations throughout the city for $15. Dinner at the door is $18.
Local iconographer Shayne Swenson will be at the event demonstrating his work, said festival organizer and Presvytera Irene Supica. Other entertainment includes Greek dancing, artifacts and books for sale (such as a cookbook with recipes from Greece, Serbia, Lebanon, Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, and the US), and church tours from 5 p.m to 8 p.m nightly.
The festival is usually attended by around 3,000 people, and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, who prepare food for weeks in advance and cook throughout the three-day event.
“The cooks get here at 6 in the morning and it takes a whole day of slow cooking to be ready,” Supica said.
Take-out service (available starting at 4:30 p.m. for beef Kapama, orzo, and green beans this year) is only in the afternoons because it takes most of the day for the food to be made. They do have some items ready made that organizers order from vendors specializing in Greek cuisine, Supica said, but most are made from scratch on site.
Before the festival, organizers tested new items on an eager pool of volunteers, who agreed to put a new chicken pita on the menu, among other things.
“They had a test session on the food and everyone loved that,” she said.
The traditional favorites are back this year at the pastry booth and at dinner, Supica said, but there are also nut-free and vegan options available at the festival for people with different dietary needs. The church also installed a new handicapped accessible ramp, lift and rails in the building.
For information, including a full menu, visit the church website.
Elizabeth Backstrom majored in journalism at Western Washington University and currently works as remotely as a grant writer. Her background is in news writing and features, but if an overabundance of caffeine is consumed, she has been known to write a humor piece or two. Backstrom attended various Christian churches growing up in Washington State and in her free time enjoys reading about history, religion and politics.