Greek Festival Comes During Big Year At Church

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SCRANTON -- Tens of thousands of people will line up to get Greek goodies this week in Scranton.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is holding its annual Greek Food Festival and this year's big event comes during a big year of change for that downtown church.

It's the week every year when many in the Scranton area gets an appetite for all things Greek, and the people of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church put in many hours of work making up their specialties.

"It's right from scratch, no preservative, no fillers. It's pure food like we cook in our homes," said volunteer Harriet Scandzos.

This festival at the church on North Washington Avenue draws around 30,000 people a year and certainly tends to bring back some regulars.

"(We like) the desserts!"

"Spanakopita and pastitsio are our favorites!"

"If you have a good product, they come back so all these people, for 40 years, they support us," said volunteer Helen Vaitsolpoulos.

This year, maybe more than ever, this church really needs all this support from the festival, because of a major renovation underway.

Ornate iconography in the church is new this year, all done by experts from Greece.

Fr. Konstantine Elefthoerakis is looking forward to giving tours to festival goers to show off this spiritual artwork.

"We want to take what people know about the church from the festival and actually say 'hey, we're about something much, much more than that,'" said Fr. Elefthoerakis.

Work is also being done to redo the outside of the church. That work and the artwork inside all come at a big cost.

"It's a very small community, for things like this to be happened, really we're not the ones doing it. It's happening through our efforts and the hands of those doing the work, but it's really a divine thing. We believe that," Fr. Elefthoerakis added.

All the church changes are inspiration for those working hard at the festival.

"Beautiful, everything inspires us to go closer to God," Vaitsolpoulos said.

The Greek Food Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day through Saturday at the church on North Washington Avenue in Scranton.