By EMMALEE C. TORISK
For Chris Triveri, the Greek festival hosted twice yearly by Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church is a family affair.
Triveri is vice president of the parish council. Her father, Tom Galantis, is a past president of the same organization. Her mother, Bess Galantis, is treasurer of the church’s philanthropic ladies’ society.
Her grandfather was one of the church’s founders.
“From generation to generation, we continue to pass down the love of our church and our culture,” Triveri said. “We want to keep the strength of our traditions, and we don’t want to lose them.”
One way parish members keep both their faith and heritage alive is through the biannual festival, which began Friday.
It will also take place today and Sunday, from noon to 9 p.m., at the community center across the street from the church, 401 12th St. Admission is free.
Triveri said over the years, the festival itself has become a tradition within the community — with many eagerly anticipating the assortment of homemade Greek food available there.
Some of her favorites are souvlaki, which is a shish kebab made with marinated cubes of meat; moussaka, which is layered eggplant, potato, cheese and ground beef covered with a cream sauce; and, of course, the variety of pastries, such as loukoumades, which are puffs of deep-fried dough smothered in hot honey and cinnamon.
“Everything they have is so good,” Triveri said. “People come from all over for the food and pastries.”
Tom Galantis added the festival also features traditional Greek music and folk dancing, of which there are three performances each day.
He noted, too, that the church’s two festivals — in February and in September — are its primary fundraisers, and that they help maintain all church services.
Other items offered at the festival include religious items, such as icons and jewelry, that have been handcrafted by members of the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery in Saxonburg, Pa.
Sister Chrysovalantou said selling the items is how the monastery and its members survive.
She added that members sell their wares at several area festivals and that doing so allows them the chance to “answer any questions” the people they come across may have about their faith.
To Triveri, the city of Campbell is unique, in that it has held to its traditions and cultures — and she’s hopeful that the church’s Greek festival will continue for many years to come.
“It brings fellowship, and it brings people together,” Triveri said. “It allows us to share our customs.”
For information about the church or its festival, visit www.archangelmichael.oh.goarch.org.