For the parishioners at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Town and Country, Missouri, the annual St. Louis County Greekfest is a tradition. It's a time to gather and show off their culture, and you can find members of the church prepping days before, with women from the old country meeting at the church to prepare dolmas and spanakopita while chatting in Greek. But this year, COVID-19 turned the fest, like many other events, on its head. So, they got creative.
The church will be holding its Greekfest in a smaller, curbside version from Oct. 16-18. While it won't be the same celebration of Greek culture that the church gets to share with its community, you'll still be able to share in one very important part of Greek culture: the food.
On each of the days, from 11am to 8pm, anyone who is looking for a good Greek meal can order their food online and pick it up from the church. Dishes will include souvlaki, gyros, roasted chicken and more in addition to a variety of pastries and treats.
Tony Tharenos, a lifelong member of the church and one of the organizers, says that the event is usually held over the four days of Memorial Day weekend, which is in part a tribute to what the United States has done for the Greek community.
"It's a tough situation this year because, again, we can't share the amount of pride we have in what America has done for us," he says.
But even though the festival will be missing much of what makes it such a fun tradition, customers will still be able to get Greek food crafted with care and quality ingredients. Tharenos says it isn't just any old food you could find at the grocery store.
"These are handed down recipes from generation to generation, so they want to make sure they don't take any shortcuts," he says.
Online orders for curbside pickup are live starting today.
St. Louis County Greekfest, stlouisgreekfest.com