Rita Mitsopulos, who has been volunteering “all her life,” worked the cash Saturday. She said key to the festival’s success is the small band of volunteers who work preparing the food and staffing the venue.
“There’s not that many of us,” she said, “But everybody gets together and we work hard for the church.”
Proceeds from the festival go to support the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a cause Maria “of Deluxe on Regent Street” has support for 40 years. She was serving sweets at the event, which is held at the Hellenic Centre by St. Charles Lake on Esther Road every year.
“This is a very special event for us,” Maria said. “Everybody here is a volunteer and we’re working hard to raise money for the church.”
She said she’s particularly fond of the galatobouriko, a flaky pastry, although the ever-popular baklava was moving fast, as well. There was plenty of other traditional sweets available, as well, including kataifi, melomakarono, koulouria and paximathia.
The beer tent outside was a popular destination, as was a children’s area that featured an old-fashioned test of strength. Young kids, mallet in hand, took turns trying to hit the hammer the hardest, with one young boy jumping up and down in triumph when he made the bell ring.
In addition to traditional and modern Greek music being piped inside and out by a DJ, the Hellenic Dancers made regular appearances, impressing the crowd, performing traditional dances decked out in traditional Greek clothing. Also throughout the weekend, a live bouzouki band from Toronto was scheduled to perform.
The festival wraps up July 29 at the Hellenic Centre, 486 Esther Rd., in the city’s South End. Admission is free, with refreshments and Greek food for sale all day long. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. For more information, phone 705-522-7871.
Posted by Darren MacDonald