PITTSBURGH, PA – When the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox parish created its new home in the McCandless, a suburb north of Pittsburgh, the design also took into account the annual food festival. From September 2 to 6, the parish’s new neighbors and thousands more from miles around will enjoy the Taste of Greece festival.
Holy Trinity has been presenting Hellenic and Orthodox culture to the greater Pittsburgh area for decades, but the 2015 edition will be the biggest ever.
“This will be our third year in our new building, and we’re making a lot of improvements,” said Marianne Stearns, one of six people heading up festival operations. “We have a better handle on what we’re doing now, so it will be easier for people to move through the festival,” she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“The festival grounds layout has been changed to reduce waiting lines and the festival has more volunteers this year, she said, noting that the congregation has been gearing up for the festival since January,” the local paper reported, adding “The century-old congregation has relied on the Greek food festivals for fundraising and for garnering community support.”
Stearns said past festivals have attracted up to 20,000 people.
George Dickos, an intellectual property attorney whose father’s and mother’s roots are in Roumeli and Asia Minor, respectively, is the parish council president. He was the one available to speak with TNH “because the committee people are all tied up” getting ready for the big event.
“We built the Church to be a traditional sanctuary, and we frankly built the community center and the ancillary facilities to host the festival… and there is a big courtyard and field.”
The members of the committee that runs the festival are: Harry Athanasiou, Leo Loomis, Stephanie Sedor, Marianne Stearns and her son Stephen, and Dan Willow.
Dickos told TNH there will be live entertainment each of the five nights fueling dancing and singing.
Vendors will be selling a variety of goods but the highlight and delight will be the traditional Greek food. “New dishes this year will be moussaka, a Greek lasagna made with eggplant; souzoukakia, or Greek meat balls; and shish kebab souvlaki, which is made with grain-fed Colorado lamb,” the Post-Gazette announced.
When he was asked about his own favorite food at the festival, Dickos told TNH “our souvlaki is exceptional.”
The band will play each night beginning at 6 PM and dance groups of various ages will perform.
There will also be Church tours every hour from noon to 8 PM.
“People are still curious about our church, especially now that more stores and restaurants in McCandless Crossing have started to open,” Marianne Stearns said.
The festival will run 11 AM to 9 PM daily and there will be parking in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Passavant’s tan lot behind the hospital. A free shuttle will be available. More information is available at: holytrinitypgh.org/festival.