Oakmont Greek Food Festival set to return
Thousands of hungry folks are expected to flock to Oakmont for the annual Greek Food Festival.
The 45th installment for the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church is set for noon-11 p.m. June 28-30 at 12 Washington Ave.
Andy Gavrilos has been involved with the festival for more than 30 years and chaired about 25 of them.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Gavrilos. “It’s something that we can do for our church. It’s great seeing the church community come together working toward a common goal. It’s nice to promote our food and culture into the local community.”
He called it a “panigiri,” a centuries-old traditional and cultural festival organized during the summer months primarily in the villages of Greek islands and mainlands where a patron saint is celebrated.
“We think we replicate that,” Gavrilos said. “I think it’s got that aura of an old-fashion(ed) Greek picnic. Performances are a draw and a hit. We give good food and good value.”
At least 3,000 people are expected to stop by over three days.
Live music starts around 5 p.m. Grecian Odyssey Dancers of East Pittsburgh take the stage around 7 and 8:30 p.m. each night.
Attendees can learn more about Greek culture and observe religious items on display from the Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Monastery.
The real star of the show is the food. All the traditional favorites are on the menu from gyros, lamb shanks, fried smelts, chicken Alexis, souzoukakia and pork souvlaki.
Desserts include honey balls, a variety of baklava, brownies, a walnut cookie called finikia and galatoboureko, a flaky custard treat.
“You’d hate to mess with success,” Gavrilos said. “A couple years ago we did extend the hours, and we’re kind of fine tuning our procedures around that. We’re a little leery to introduce something new. Many people have commented that they like the expanded hours. We do get a nice lunch-time crowd. That helps alleviate some of that early evening dinner crowd.”
Dinners and other hot foods are in the church’s main hall. Dinner ends at 9 p.m. with the patio grill closing at 10 p.m.
Frozen half pans of spanakopita and pastitso will be available to take home. Credit cards will be accepted.
Admission and parking are free. No pets are allowed. More information is available at dormitionpgh.org or by calling 412-828-4144.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .