Supporters of Montgomery’s Greek Orthodox community bought delicious food items Friday while extending good wishes to members of a little church that has had a positive influence on Alabama’s Capital City.
The occasion was the 23rd annual Greek Food Festival and Pastry Sale, which continues today beginning at 11 a.m.
The festival followed by three months the church’s annual barbecue during Labor Day weekend. It also had solid support from the community.
“People kept asking us during Labor Day when the food festival would be held,” said Bob Corley, a church member who helped prepare for the fall event.
A Taste of Greece normally is held in the spring, not the fall, but leaders of the congregation decided to go ahead with it during the first weekend of November.
“Events such as these are major fundraisers, providing the finances we need to keep going,” said Corley. “The Greek church has never been huge, but it continues to be vibrant.”
Montgomery’s Greek Orthodox Church is small, not many more than 100 members, so the show of support from the community was reason enough for smiles to abound Friday.
Volunteers expect thousands of supporters to visit the church grounds by the time dinner is finished tonight.
Many were on hand when lunch began at 11 a.m. Dinner followed at 5 p.m.
The same schedule will be followed again today at Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation on Mount Meigs Road.
Featured items include roast lamb as well as native foods such as Athenian Chicken, Pastichio and Spanakopita.
As they have been since the first barbecue and food festivals were held, pastries proved to be the most popular items again Friday.
Prices range from $1.50 for cookies up to $14 for the lamb. A sampler box costs $20, providing several of the food items displayed on tables.
Montgomery businessman Raymond Cohen, a prominent member of Montgomery’s Jewish community, said he looks forward to each of the Greek food events.
“The congeniality and friendship you find here are reasons why so many people come each year,” Cohen said. “We’ve all known and supported each other for a long time.”
As outdoorsman Ray Scott prepared to begin selecting his lunch items Friday, he recalled the generosity of the church sponsoring the food festival.
“Our church burned years ago when I was a young man, and the Greeks let us use this one until we could build another,” said Scott, 80. “I love the Greeks and all that they do.”