Saturday, September 26, 2015

Opa! Tucson celebrates its Greek-ness

Salad and spanakopita
A touch of Greece cones to Tucson every year when St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church throws its annual Greek Festival, an event that has grown from a single dinner to a four-day event filled with food, entertainment and displays of Greek crafts and jewelry.

Always there is the food: gyros stuffed with meat, spanakopita, meatballs, souvlaki and baklava, among other delectable desserts. There’s a Greek market where you can buy feta and kasthiri cheeses, bags of kalamata olives and Greek seasonings.  Go hungry and come away stuffed like a dolmathes.

Festival activities reflected in church windows
2015 marked the 39th year for the festival. It was cancelled in 2013 due to a fire that destroyed part of the church, but returned in 2014 with more than 11,000 people attending. The festival was started about 40 years ago by Father Anthony Moschonas who wanted to share Greek culture with Tucson.

St. Demetrios was founded in 1947, being housed first in a church building that previously housed the First Christian Church. Construction on the present church began in 1967, with the first services being held the following year. It is named in honor of two Greek University of Arizona graduates who died in World War II.

St. Demetrios is located at 1145 East Fort Lowell Road in Tucson. The Greek Festival is generally held in late September.  The church’s regular parking lot is filled with food booths during the festival, but the church offers free shuttle service from nearby parking lots.

Tip: Go early. Thousands of people attend this event every day of its run, and food lines quickly grow long.


No comments:

Post a Comment