Courtesy photo/Pamela Pappavasiliou

SACO — For 24 years, the local Greek Festival put on by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Greek Orthodox Church in Saco, has been serving up Greek food and pastries, dancing and more, was an in-person event. But in 2020, the COVID pandemic hit and throughout the country businesses closed and festivals and events were cancelled or severely limited. Since 2020, the annual festival now in its 28th year was held on a take-out basis only, with people ordering food beforehand and picking up food at a specified time later on.

Now that the threat of COVID is less severe, the festival will be an in-person event once again. This means that people can attend the event that has free admission and ample free parking in-person once again. In addition to the Greek food and pastry, there will be dancing, a children’s area, church tours and more.

The event takes place at St. Demitrios at 186 Bradley St. in Saco, July 14-16. Hours are betwwen 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be parking at the church and also overflow parking at Saco Valley Shopping Center, where people can take a shuttle to the church between 5 and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Food on the menu includes Greek favorites like spanakopita, which is made of spinach, cheese and buttered phyllo dough; pastitsio, a casserole of macaroni and ground meat topped by a bechamel white sauce; and souvlaki, a kebob of seasoned chunks of lamb. Other items include roast chicken seasoned with Greek seasonings, Mediterranean meatballs in tomato sauce, and more. There are also pastries like baklava, which is made with chopped nuts, buttered phyllo and honey; thiples, a thin flaky pastry dipped in honey; finikia, a walnut spiced cookie dipped in honey; and many other pastries.

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