STEUBENVILLE - The men and women of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church have spent countless hours in recent weeks assembling exterior counter tops and preparing the food that will be sold starting Tuesday during the 27th-annual Greek Festival.
Nick and George Maragos were charged with watching the meat slowly turn over an open flame.
"I started doing this 20 years ago and now my brother George is involved. We started slicing the meat last week and will continue slicing the meat, a combination of lamb and beef, through the festival. We sell a lot of food during the festival," explained Nick Maragos.
GETTING READY — Dr. Paul Mastros, left, and Louis Diniaco volunteered to prepare the celery in the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church kitchen recently as workers prepare for this week’s 27th-annual Greek Food Festival. This year’s festival will be open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday. -- Dave Gossett
Several men and women stood at commercial prep tables cleaning celery and paring carrots. And in the nearby dining room, 11 women from the Ladies of the Philoptochos of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church gathered at a table where they cleaned and pared carrots for the thousands of dinners that will be sold this week.
The annual Greek Festival will kick off at 11 a.m. Tuesday and continue through Saturday at the church located at the corner of Fourth and South streets.
Festival Chairman John Scavdis said the event planners believe they should have a weekend presence.
"That's why we extended our festival from Tuesday through Saturday. We will have an outside tent in the street with certain foods and refreshments. But the majority of our authentic Greek food will be available in the church dining hall. New patrons are invited to come into the church hall and enjoy the food while socializing with family and friends," said Scavdis.
"The Saturday festival will run from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. under the tent," noted Scavdis.
"Outdoors we will have the small doughnuts dipped in honey. And we will have a little cafe set up under the tent where will will offer gyro sandwiches. In our Hellenic Hall we will offer complete dinners, including chicken, lamb, fish lamb stew as well as sausage and meatballs," said Scavdis.
"We will have our famous grape leaves and 14 different kinds of cookies," Scavdis added.
"And we will also have an outdoor taverna with beer, wine and wine coolers," Scavdis noted.
"We expanded to five days this year because we want to be able to offer our delicious food to the many people who will stop at the festival," said Scavdis.
"We are excited to invite area residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of Jefferson County here in downtown Steubenville," added the Rev. Nick Halkias.
Halkias said tours of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will be offered Tuesday through Friday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The Greek Food Festival will offer a variety of authentic Grecian food such as roasted chicken, plaki, lamb stew, souzoukakia, loukaniko, moussaka, gyros and Greek salad as well as Grecian pastries like baklava, diples, hot loukoumades, galaobouriko, Soula's baklava sundae, baklava, kataifi, chocolate baklava, rice pudding baklava cheesecake and Elena's raisin cookies.
Phone-in and carry-out orders are available during the Grecian Food Festival by calling (740) 282-7770. The fax number is (740) 282-2091.
According to Scavdis, the Greek Dancers will perform nightly at 6 p.m., and the Greek Company will take the stage nightly at 8 p.m.
"The Greek Company exhibits a unique style that has fans calling them the Tri-State Area's best party band. This group is one of America's best Greek orchestras that provide a wide variety of Hellenic music styles that can excite any crowd with a blend of dance music and easy listening tunes," said Scavdis.
Parking at the Grecian Food Festival is free, and organizers said Greek icons, music and souvenirs will be on sale at the Agora or Greek marketplace during the five-day event.
"We will also have beautiful imported Greek items for sale," added Scavdis.