Toledo's Greek Festival Takes to Take-Out Too During COVID-19

The National Herald

FILE - The St. Demetrios Festival in Jamaica featured the community's dancers whose performance delighted all those present. (Photo: Courtesy of St. Demetrios Jamaica)

These being the times we live in, one of the Greek-American community's premier festivals, in Toledo, had to switch this year to a drive-in take-out style for people who can't wait to taste the wares even if it's picked up in their cars.

Publicity Chairman George Sarantou told The Toledo Blade that, “Nothing on the menu is a slow item. It's all stuff that when we have our festivals, we make plenty of and we always run out,” he said.

This year it was called Taste of Greece, pushed back from May to the second weekend in September, a disappointment as this was the 50th annual celebration, a milestone that had to be done without a public gathering and entertainment events like dancing.

“It would have been a fantastic time,” Sarantou said. But not even the Coronavirus could keep people away from grape leaves, spanakopita, pastichio, plus sweet pastries like baklava for dessert.

Long-time head chef Harry Dean Proestos said he and his team hand-rolled grape leaf dishes and prepared 1,200 pounds of chicken, 800 pounds of lamb, and 620 pounds of green beans for the very hungry.