Reporting Aristea Brady
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the last few weeks, WCCO-TV has featured foods on a stick at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Now, it’s time for a trip to the only place you’ll find food on a spit.
It’s hard to miss the big gold dome and the aromas that will escape the 23rd Annual Taste of Greece — live music, costumed Greek dancers, a market place and more authentic food than you can imagine.
Most people associate the Greek Festival with celestial food bliss. The Greeks see it as an opportunity to welcome people into the culture they call home.
“If you come to our house, you’ll feel Greek the second day, believe me,” Greek Festival volunteer Stavros Stavrou said.
Stavrou said hospitality is in most Greeks’ blood. He and his wife, Avgi, are more fondly known in the community as “Yia Yia” and “Papou.”
“I am very proud because I am a Greek grandmother,” Avgi Stavrou said.
One look at the terrace where the gold dome sits, and it’s easy to see why the Greeks chose a land that reminds them of home.
“It reminds me of Greece with blue skies and beautiful ocean,” Avgi said.
Perhaps the best take-away from the old country are recipes that have survived generations. They’re recipes that must be mass-produced, taking many people and many hours to create.
“Everything we made, we made with our heart,” Avgi said.
When you ask why they do it, they’ll tell you immediately — they do it for the church.
The festival is located at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The festival runs Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 and 10, from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 11, from noon to 6 p.m.