The Holy Trinity Greek Festival will get an mini-encore this week, focused solely on comfort food.
“Obviously it’s good for the church, but mostly it’s about a great deal of demand,” said George Rassias, president of the parish council. The festival is one of Wilmington’s most popular annual events and the Delaware Valley’s largest Greek festival.
When coronavirus restrictions led to canceling what would have been the 45th festival in June, organizers pivoted to just takeout for two weekends. The September edition “will operate with the same format that ultimately functioned best in June,” its Facebook page says – plus an expanded menu.
The Festival-to-Go will run 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the church, 808 N. Broom St.
Not all the favorites are coming back, Rassias said, because of constraints in manpower, preparation time, storage capacity and seasonality of ingredients.
All ordering will be done at the church to limit patrons’ wait times and maximize efficiency.
“It might not be the Festival we are accustomed to, but it is the Festival we can safely bring to you under the circumstances,” the page says.
Returning favorites include 20,000 dolmades and hundreds of trays of other Greek dishes. Items that weren’t offered in June but will be this month include Greek salad, meatball sandwich, pasta flora, tsoureki and all the specials.
The menu lists dolmades (four for $5), Greek salad ($10), gyro ($9), meatball sandwich ($6), meatballs (four for $3), mousaka ($10), pastichio ($10), spanakopita ($6), tiropita ($6) and variety samplers (mousaka or pastichio with two meatballs, tiropita, spanakopita and two dolmades for $17).
Accompanying them are the dessert sampler (baklava, portokalopita, kataifi, kourambie, melomakarona, and pasta flora for $15), tsoureki (a Greek sweet bread loaf for $15) and red or white Greek wine by the bottle for $15.
Specials starting Wednesday include all new items: Stuffed peppers for $9, chicken with orzo for $10 and lamb sandwich for $10. A special on the last day only is souvlaki for $9.
Funds raised from the festival are going to church capital projects, such as a massive effort to integrate the 1948 church and 1977 community and improving access within the combined structure with ramps and an elevator. New bathrooms are also part of the project, due to be finished this year.
Festival organizers are promoting a blood drive 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 26 at the church, in memory of Wilmington firefighters. Appointments are strongly encouraged using sponsor code CWF with the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Walk-ins will only be allowed if social distancing can be maintained.
The festival has thousands of likes and followers on Facebook, and there is also plenty of appreciation for the September edition.
“Thank you so much for doing this!” Erika Dunham Pappas wrote. “While we will miss the festival in its true form, this is a great (safer) alternative.”
“Yes please,” wrote Tina Rogers Malloy, “since we didn’t get a chance back in June!”