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May 5, 2017

OPA! FREDERICK GREEK FESTIVAL

Frederick-area residents can don their dancing shoes and sample wonderful Greek culture at the Spring Frederick Greek Festival, which runs Wednesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 21. The festival will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Peter & Paul, located on 920 West 7th Street. The five-day Festival will feature delicious Greek meals and desserts, continuous music and dancing, imported wine and beer and exciting exhibition folk dancing — a great cultural experience for the entire family.

But, really, most of us will go there for the… wait for it… FOOD!!! Some of the favorite festival menu items will include Gyro (lamb on pita sandwich), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese inside layers of filo pastry) and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). There will also be traditional homemade Greek pastries such as baklava (layers of walnuts and filo pastry soaked in honey), kourambiedes (butter cookies covered with powdered sugar) and galaktobouriko (filo pastry filled with custard). (Be sure to try one of the homemade amygdolata, or almond cookies, made special by Sass owner Kim Dow and Sass copy editor Chrissy Moore! But get them early, because they sell out fast!)

Visitors can also enjoy Greek music throughout the Festival so they can dance the traditional kalamatiano, tsamiko, zeimbekiko and other Greek dances. And, of course, be sure to purchase your very own souvenir Greek Fest pint glass, or shot glass, while sampling some local beer brewed by Brewers Alley as well as traditional Greek liquors ouzo and metaxa!

FIVE FESTIVAL FAVORITES

1. Pastitsio (this is a ‘greek-style” lasagna, made with ground beef and a bechamel sauce)

2. Greek Dancing (be sure to catch the dancing exhibitions, and you may spot one of our Sass moms! Better yet, join in on the dancing and ask a festival volunteer to show you some of the dance steps. Warning: don’t be surprised if the scheduled dance exhibitions are running late…Greeks are NEVER on time!)

3. Galaktoboureko (this is probably our favorite Greek dessert…made with a custard filling, topped with filo dough and then topped with a honey syrup. Be sure to get yours early because they will sell out!)

4. Taverna Nights (it’s just so relaxing to sit outside, relax, and enjoy Greek music and dancing while nibbling on a Greek pastry or sipping a Greek beer. Strike up a conversation with the people sitting next to you. Greeks LOVE to talk!)

5. Rice Pudding (the rice pudding is handmade right in the church kitchen. Delicious!)

BY KIM DOW

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