Church is ready for food and fun of annual festival

Thursday, August 17, 2006 Various Greek dishes and pastries will be available throughout the event. THE VINDICATOR BOARDMAN — Glendi is the Greek word for party, and St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Church's Glendi is an annual festival of Greek food, music and dance. The three-day event gets under way this Friday at the church grounds, 4955 Glenwood Ave. It runs from noon to 10 p.m. Phillip Passas, general chairman this year, said the big tent is already up in the church's parking lot, and there will be space for dancing and tables for food outside, which will include such staples as Souvlakia (Greek shish-kabobs), prepared by Harold Yiannaki and his family; Jay's famous Gyros, prepared by the Petrakos family; smelts and calamari; Greek and domestic beer, pop and spring water; baklava sundae served by the youth of the church; and much more. John and Lou Kennedy, as well as Gus and Greg Giannios Jr., will be barbecuing lamb on the spit outside this year. Inside the fellowship, St. John's talented chefs, Frances Panagopoulos, Dan O'Neal, Greg Giannios, Ted Pappas, Manny Cominos and Dan Wallace, will prepare delicious Greek dinners that will be served each day. Several varieties of fish will be available on Friday, including the Greek-style fish Plakee. Other main dinners will include Mediterranean chicken, Greek-style roast young lamb, souvlaki dinner and pastitsio (Greek lasagna). All dinners will include rice pilaf, green beans and Greek salad. Other Greek favorites will be available a la carte. They include: spanakopita (thin layers of pastry filled with spinach and Greek feta cheese), tiropita (triangles of thin pastry dough filled with feta cheese and egg whites) and dolmathes (special herb, rice and meat wrapped in tender grape leaves). Pastitsio and souvlakia will also be available a la carte. Eugenia Pontikos says many varieties of pastries and baked goods made by the ladies of the church will be available for inside and take-home sales. "Our goal this year was to make sure not to let the pastries run out before the festival closes," she said. Other features Entertainment will be provided by the church's costumed dancers each evening. The intermediate and senior groups will dance to some lively Greek village dances. The dance groups are directed by the Elias sisters, Alexis and Sarah. The Grecian Flames, a bouncy Greek band, will provide music for dancing. Another highlight this year is an expanded Trash 'n' Treasure Sale which will have many items "selling for much less than their real value," according to Deanna Vallos, chairperson. "We're loaded with a great variety of items." Father Thomas Constantine and his family are in charge of the expanded book store and gift shop, which will include for sale such items as new religious books, icons, Greek music CDs, tapes, jewelry and other items.

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