Minneapolis Greek Festival
St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church
3450 Irving Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Dates: September 7-9
Times: Friday and Saturday – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Taste of Greece, one of Minnesota’s best authentic food events, just gets bigger and better every year. Come any time because tours of the beautiful gold-domed church, live music, Greek dance and cooking demonstrations are staggered every hour throughout each day so you won’t miss a thing. Fill your plate with fabulous Greek food served continuously from open to close the entire weekend. Mark your calendar now for the 24th Minneapolis Greek Festival – Taste of Greece.
Bring three non-perishable food items to Taste of Greece 2012 and receive two free tickets good for food and drink throughout the festival weekend. Donations go to the Joyce Uptown Food Shelf.
On-street parking is available and most visitors can find a space in a two-to three-block radius. The entire festival site is handicap accessible.
Friday Senior Day Lunch
Date: Friday at 12 p.m.
At a special senior price of $10 for a tasty lunch, those older folks can enjoy Greek culture as well. Lamb, Greek-style chicken or pastitsio (baked pasta) will be served with rice pilaf (with lamb or chicken), Greek salad with pita bread and coffee or water to those in attendance. Reservations are appreciated. Call (612) 825-9595.
Friday Fun Run
Lake Calhoun parking lot
36th St and E Calhoun Parkway
Date: Friday at 6:15 p.m.
An event for kids and adults, the Taste of Greece 5K Run/Walk & Kids 1K Fun Run also benefits C.A.D.E. (Children with Autism Deserve Education). Whether you are training for another event or just enjoy running, this event is for you. Bring your kids for the 1K before the race or stroller your child at the race. You will race, run or walk along the path of beautiful Lake Calhoun at sunset. There will be plenty of time afterwards to treat yourself using your $10 free food coupon while the kids play in an outdoor inflatable area. All entrants of Taste of Greece 5K also receive a T-shirt.
Friday and Saturday Wine Tasting
Dates: Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m.
Festival organizers provide samples of fine Grecian wines from wineries in one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. You can purchase a glass to bring with you as you shop the market or you can purchase a glass or a bottle for your meal.
Greek Cooking Demonstrations Saturday and Sunday
What makes Greek food so delicious? Real live chefs and artisans will teach you to make creations from gyros to baklava. Culinary aficionados are best served on Saturday afternoon with three exhibitions throughout the afternoon followed by wine tasting in the evening. Exact times are posted at the festival.
Live Music And Dancing All Three Days
Admission is free to see Kalogerson’s Greek Band, The Levendes, Greek Dancers of Minnesota and St. Mary’s Hellenic Dancers. All performances will be live every hour on the half hour. Dancers perform every hour, church tours are every hour (one is at the top of the hour the other is at the bottom) and live music happens throughout the day when the dancers are not dancing.
Shop the Greek Marketplace All Three Days
Don’t miss the pastry booth where women and men of St. Mary’s parish hand make treasures you will not find in stores or restaurants. Bill’s Imports always has intriguing Greek foods. The Theros family will share everything you wanted to know about their own olive oil from the Messinian region of Greece. The Barbes family share their YAYA-B, a Greek seasoning passed down from generation to generation, made according to grandma’s recipe.
Art lovers will enjoy the crafts of national and local artists and authors, handmade photo frames, jewelry, purses, accessories, sterling silver jewelry, Greek apparel and flowers.
Related: Best Greek Food In The Twin Cities
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.