A 20th annual Greek festival (the Athenian Agora) will be held this weekend at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation at Maryland Avenue and Preston Street.
Daily lunch and dinner from an a la carte menu of national specialties will begin at 11 a.m. Friday and continue through Sunday evening. Admission is free. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The festival will include an evening taverna with performances of traditional Greek dances. Adults and teens 17 and older are welcome.
Performances run from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and show tickets are $5.
With 5,000 diners expected in the three-day festival, volunteer cooks have been busy for days in readying festival facilities and foods. "Everybody with a specialty participates," says Anna Pappas, hostess and business liaison chairwoman for the show.
Her pastry team is directed by Loula Fantopoulos, Soula Makris and Panayota Spanomanolis. Besides pastry delicacies, the festival menu includes various versions of Greek shish kebob (souvlaki), roast chicken, stuffed vegetables, lamb shanks, dolmahs (stuffed grape leaves), Greek hot dogs, gyros on pita bread and Greek salads.
A holiday boutique on the site will offer handcrafted items, imported handcrafted jewelry, Greek books, tapes, paintings and crafts and religious items. Cathedral tours will be featured and face painting and caricaturing will be offered for children. The city's Greek cookbook ($15), a local best-seller that has been through 20,000 copies and three editions, will be on sale.