Monday, May 24, 2010

Greek Food Festival

Every year, I eagerly anticipate the Greek Food Fest. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Little Rock has been putting it on for 26 years, and they have it down to a science. Beyond the delicious gyros, pastitsio and baklava, the event raises so much money each year that not only can it keep its own church programs running, it donates a portion of its proceeds to charities. Over the years, it has donated more than $1 million among more than 20 charities. This year's beneficiaries were the Arkansas Foodbank Network, Centers for Youth and Families, Community Connections, Easter Seals Arkansas, Harmony Health Clinic, Love Truth Care Ministries, and Youth Home (a very special children's residential treatment center and school, set in a peaceful, wooded place on the outskirts of Little Rock).

The Greek Festival is truly an amazing event - so professional, so much variety in food, wares and live entertainment, and it goes on for three days. It's a community festival that any group seeking to present something similar should look to for an example to emulate.

For its size, Little Rock has a fair amount of ethnic cuisine, but I still miss the seemingly unlimited culinary variety one can find in a city like Washington. I particularly missed going to the Greek festival at St. Sophia's with my family every year, so I was pretty thrilled to find out that the Greeks put on a pretty good show here too.

GYROS - the reason I go to the Greek fest:
A volunteer prepares chicken souvlaki on the grill:
Greek dancing:
Cutest kid ever:
For sale: Gifts, jewelry, Greek Orthodox religious art, etc.:

I wonder what it would take to convince them to put this shindig on twice a year?

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