SAGINAW, MI – The Saginaw Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church usually draws crowds every year for the traditional delicacies and classic festival fun including folk dancing and music, but this year, the global coronavirus pandemic led the organizers to hold a drive-thru only festival August 21-22 which still managed to exceed everyone’s expectations, WNEM CBS5 reported on August 22.
Instead of crowds lining up, cars lined up for the two-day festival as visitors picked up their favorite Greek foods to help support the church and local causes.
Saginaw Greek Festival President David Nichols told WNEM that “the demand far exceeded our expectations,” adding that the event “has been crazy in the best way possible.”
“It’s a little frightening to see this many cars, but it’s also heartwarming because we’re a nonprofit organization, all of these proceeds will stay local, some of the proceeds will benefit the Greek Orthodox Church and some of it will go to local causes,” Nichols told WNEM.
The food as always is a major part of the festival each year, as Nichols told WNEM, “Gyros, lamb gyros, chicken gyros, we’ve got spanakopita which is spinach pie, fries, all kinds of good stuff, baklava, all kinds of good stuff.”
Nichols added that “they weren’t quite sure how the community was going to respond since the festival is usually a three-day in-person event, but he says the long lines for their drive thru answered those questions,” WNEM reported.
“We didn’t want to just shut down, we wanted to do something for the community, and it’s become really clear to us that the community is speaking back and saying ‘we want you, we want you to stay here,’” Nichols told WNEM.
The Festival organizers posted on their Facebook page, “WOW. To our incredible community — Thank you! Thank you for supporting our drive-thru fundraiser! We were truly blown away by your support and sincerely appreciated your patience as well! We hope that you enjoyed your orders – and perhaps did a bit of Greek dancing in your vehicles as you waited to be served! See you next year! Opa!
“A special thank you goes out to our dedicated volunteers and also to the Saginaw Township Police Department for all of their assistance!”