GLENDI event It’s all Greek — and all good



St. John Greek Orthodox Church’s annual cele- bration of Greek roots includes food, beer and entertainment.

“One thing about the Greeks is, when it comes to summertime, they’re all about having a great time and celebrating,” Kali Sprankle, co-coordinator of the event, said Saturday. “We have a summer festival that allows us to kind of share our culture and fun with the public and welcome them to join us.”

Inside the church, attendees can enjoy a variety of dinners, including chicken, lamb, spanakopita, pastitsio (Greek lasagna) and moussaka, an eggplant/meat casserole. The meals can also be prepared for takeout. The area around the church is filled with more food offerings, such as gyros, souvlakia — a pork loin shish-ka-bob, and squid. Also available is Greek beer.

“The biggest sellers are our baked goods,” Sprankle said. “For months we prepare, and the last two weeks, we make all kinds of baked goods.”

Pastries included koulourakia, a traditional butter twisted cookie; paximadia, a Greek biscotti, and tsoureki, a traditional sweet bread.

Food drew Kelly Garrett of Boardman to the event Saturday.

Her favorite is the gyro.

“Any of the lamb is good,” she said.

She has attended the Glendi Greek Festival in the past, but not in recent years.

The food was “excellent,” she said.

Food was also on the minds of Maryann and Bill Petruzzi of Canfield. The pair had never attended the event before.

“We’ve heard so much about it that we had to stop, and we thought we’d come for lunch. And we ate all our way through here,” Maryann said, laughing.

She enjoyed the gyros.

“And then they had these little fried doughs,” she said. “They were really good. We enjoyed everything we ate here.”

“The pastitsio was very good,” Bill said.

The event always takes place in mid-August, typically after the Greek celebration of the Virgin Mary, Sprankle said.

St. John’s has had the festival for more than 30 years.

Entertainment includes performances by Greek dance groups and music by a Greek band. Festivalgoers are encouraged to dance to the music.

The Glendi continues today from noon to 10 p.m. The St. John youth group will perform Greek dances at 6:30 and 7 p.m.

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