SOUTH OGDEN — The Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration’s annual Greek Food festival began 51 years ago as a way to get the church started in the area. Now, it’s turned into a community tradition for all to enjoy.
“It’s just what greeks are — all about tradition,” Drew Wilson Opoulos, festival coordinator, said.
Here are three things you might not have known about the free event:
1. You CAN just come for the food
The various greek food offerings at the festival is what makes the event great, Wilson Opoulos said.
“I mean they just come out in droves for it — we serve close to 10,000 people in two days,” Wilson Opoulos said.
Dolmathes, a Greek delicacy of stuffed grape leaves, is a popular choice — 10,000 are made in preparation for the festival — Wilson Opoulos said.
About 6,000 Souvlakis — chicken and pork shish kabobs — are made each year, along with 4,000 cheese triangles, 3,000 baklavas and other pastries.
Prices for the food vary but you can likely keep your stomach and wallet full as the most expensive food item, a plate of lamb, is $7.
To see a menu, visit the church’s website.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Greek Food Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 25-26
WHERE: Greek Community Center, 674 42nd St., South Ogden
2. Eat as much as you like — it’s for a good cause
Wilson Opoulos said using the festival as a fundraising opportunity helps sustain the church and keep it open, as well as raise an average of $20,000 each year for a variety of local charities.
The number and types of charities depend each year, Wilson Opoulos said.
“We look at different charities every year,” he said.
And because admission to the festival is free, funds are raised off of the food and other items for sale.
Along with the food and pastry booths, there are kids and craft booths, where hand-made and imported items from Greece can be purchased.
3. Tradition, Tradition!
People enjoy the festival so much that they start calling the church in July, asking when it will held, Wilson Opoulos said.
But besides growing into a beloved tradition for the Ogden community, it helps preserve the local Greeks’ history.
“It shows our greek heritage and our culture — we’re a pretty diverse community in Ogden and it’s important that people know and understand that these people came over and established businesses and brought their beliefs and their church with them,” Wilson Opoulos said.