AMBRIDGE, PA – Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ambridge, north of Pittsburgh, will hold its annual Greek Festival July 14-18 with safety measures in place due to COVID -19, the Ellwood City Ledger (ECL) reported on July 6.
After many churches and organizations had cancelled events due to the lockdown and the global pandemic, Holy Trinity’s popular festival will go on but with outdoor seating only, at tables which will be spaced apart and also have hand sanitizer at each table, ECL reported, adding that “visitors will be required to wear a mask as they enter the church’s social hall to line up, socially distanced,” to make their selections from among the classic Greek specialties, including spinach pie, souvlaki, dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves), and various pastries.
“It may be a little different this year, but we will still have the same amazing pastries and great tasting food as we do every year,” according to the church website, ECL reported.
Holy Trinity Church Treasurer Connie Barlamas told ECL that the new methid of derving the food will “be almost like Subway or Chipotle, and just like with the restaurant industry now, you’ll have to be patient with us.”
To-go orders may be placed 9 AM-4 PM by phone: 724-266-5336, starting July 13, ECL reported, noting that “in past years, local businesses often placed large to-go orders, but event organizers invite families to try calling ahead, too.”
Holy Trinity Festival hours are 11:30 AM-8 PM daily, ECL reported, adding that “while there won’t be live music this year, traditional Greek music still will be piped in to keep the mood festive.”
“We’re a church, and we’re going to do this safely,” Barlamas told ECL, “To be honest, we’ve got to have this festival for us. There are capital improvements that need done that we can no longer put aside. We are trying to bring back our original church bell and build a bell tower for it, as well as expand and fix the parking lot.”
Holy Trinity is also dealing with “a 45-year-old boiler that’s been troublesome,” ECl reported, noting that “a few water-damaged icons” also need repair.
Holy Trinity has 200 families among its membership, but they “alone can’t foot the bills for those projects,” ECL reported.
“And with everything that’s been canceled this summer, we wanted to give people something to look forward to. We hope this provides a little bit of normality, with a twist,” Barlamas told ECL.
Another Pennsylvania church, Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, will hold “a scaled down version of its annual Greek food festival, with a takeout-only day on July 11 (and another tentatively planned for July 25),” ECL reported, adding that “the church’s Facebook page features the limited order menu.” To learn more visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dormitionaliquippa/.
More information about Holy Trinity and its festival is available online: https://www.htgoc.org/2020-festival.