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Events

The 48th Oakmont Greek Festival Returns June 24-26

OAKMONT, PA – Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 12 Washington Avenue in Oakmont, hosts the 48th Oakmont Greek Food Festival June 24-26 after a two-year hiatus with a more traditional model while continuing a few of the practices learned during the pandemic.

Food and pastries are available from Noon-9 PM each day, while supplies last. Entertainment, including live music, dancing, and dance performances will continue until 11 PM each evening.

The festival will accept only debit/credit cards for payment. Dinner items include Chicken Alexis, lamb shank, pork souvlakia, souzoukakia and, of course, gyros. A-la-carte and side items include spanakopita, pastitsio, moussaka, green beans, stuffed grape leaves and French fries. Pastry and dessert items include loukoumades, rice pudding, koulourakia, a variety pack, galatoboureko, baklava, apricot baklava, kataifi, kourambiedes and more. Drinks include bottled water, tea, diet tea, lemonade, Coke products, beer and wine.

Again this year, the festival offers website based pre-order and curbside pick-up service. Most but not all menu items are available, but certainly enough of a selection to satisfy all of Greek food and pastry cravings. The website opens Monday, June 20 and orders must be placed by 8 PM the night before your desired pick-up date. Use this website to order your curbside pick-up food items: https://bit.ly/3HFmFMz.

Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church, 12 Washington Avenue in Oakmont, PA, hosts the 48th Oakmont Greek Food Festival June 24-26. (Photo: Facebook)

Event co-chairman Andy Gavrilos told TribLive that “we are returning closer to our pre-COVID format, but we are implementing some things that we’ve learned over the last couple years. We had to hedge a little bit against a possible resurgence. This year’s a little bit of a hybrid model.”

The “layout includes a big tent in the front lot and more outdoor seating to complement indoor dining in the main hall,” TribLive reported, adding that “festival planning began in January” and “supply-chain issues and inflation have impacted the festival as most of the items cost $1 more than last year.”

“Anyone who’s been to a grocery store can see what prices have done,” Gavrilos told TribLive. “We’ve done what we can to keep prices at last year’s levels, but obviously we’ve had to raise some. It costs a lot more to get the stuff.”

“Customers also can purchase frozen half-pans of spanakopita and pastitsio,” TribLive reported, adding that “tens of thousands have visited Oakmont for previous festivals. We are expecting a nice crowd,” Gavrilos told TribLive. “I don’t know if it will be 2019 levels, but I think it will be closer to that than it was last year. There’s still some people nervous about going out… Our expectation is we’re going to have a successful festival,” Gavrilos continued. “Everything we’ve heard from people is that they’re excited that we’re returning back closer to normal. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody again,” TribLive reported.

Besides the great food, performances by the Grecian Odyssey Dancers and the Junior Grecian Stars are always a highlight of the festival. Unfortunately, this year there will be some sadness as treasurer and longtime member of the Grecian Odyssey Dancers Peter Papadakos, 66, of East Pittsburgh passed away on January 14 due to COVID and pneumonia complications, TribLive reported adding that Papadakos was also a chanter and head of the church’s music department.

Gavrilos told TribLive that “Oakmont was his church. He did a lot of things not just for our church, but for other area churches as well as our diocese in Pittsburgh. The dance group has suffered losses before. Probably not to the magnitude of the loss of Peter, but as we know the show must go on when you’re in that business. Peter will truly be missed. I’m sure he will be on everyone’s mind.”

More information is available at https://dormitionpgh.org/ or by calling 412-828-4144.

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