ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Get a Taste of Greece this weekend

Taste of Greece returns this weekend to the Marshall School in Duluth.

Greek dancing and Greek food
Amber Anderson, from left, 15, Emily Regas, 16, Pierce Regas, 10, and Ayla Livadaros, 11, all of Duluth, focus while dancing the Kalamatianos, a Greek folk dance, while rehearsing on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Duluth for the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church’s Taste of Greece at Marshall School. Kalamatianos is the national dance of Greece.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

DULUTH — Taste of Greece returns for its 29th year this Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26 at Marshall School, 1215 Rice Lake Road. Run by the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, this event showcases Greek food, homemade bread and pastries, Greek coffee, folk dancing and music.

"We started this event in our small meeting room at our church about 29 years ago and the response from the community has been so great over the years," said long-time volunteer Lee Regas. "We went from a 100-person room at the church to now this two-day event where we'll probably see 3,000 to 4,000 people come through. We appreciate the love and support."

Greek dancing and Greek food
A tray of Greek pastry for sale during the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church’s Taste of Greece at Marshall School seen on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Event co-chair George Patronas said crews of volunteers from the church have been busily preparing food the past few days to serve. On the menu is everything from gyros, shish kebabs, homemade Greek pastries, baklava, sundaes and iced coffee.

For visitors who don't have a lot of time, the festival has an express food and pastry tent outside to allow for quick pick-ups.

"Everyone's welcome to come and get a taste, whether you want to come inside and enjoy the dancing and atmosphere or if you just want to drop by and get something to go," Patronas said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking of dancing, a crew of around 20 local dancers has been practicing traditional Greek dances since April to perform at the event on Sunday. The dancers practice nearly every Sunday after church services and had a final rehearsal Thursday to get in some last-minute practice.

Greek dancing and Greek food
Keziah Pop, left, and Zhaina Gizas, second from left, dance the Kalamatianos, a Greek folk dance, while rehearsing for the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church’s Taste of Greece at Marshall School on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

"It's just so much fun," said Zhaina Gizas Smith, a dancer with the church.

Gizas Smith has been dancing with the church for six or seven years and said she got inspired to join after visiting Greece with her family and dancing in a festival.

"Some of them are really fast-paced and make you really work," she said. "Like the Pentozali, where you just have to keep moving and do the steps over and over again."

A different group of dancers from the Twin Cities will perform at the event on Saturday.

Guests are also welcome to visit the chapel and bookstore to find out more about the 2,000-year-old traditions and history of the Orthodox Church. The Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church was founded by Greek immigrants in 1918 in Duluth, but today its congregation is made up of people from more than 24 different ethnic backgrounds.

Admission to Taste of Greece is free, as is parking. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Greek dancing and Greek food
Lee Regas of Duluth checks on a pan containing lamb meat while preparing for the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church’s Taste of Greece at Marshall School on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
Greek dancing and Greek food
Pork kebabs sit in a cooler during preparations for Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church’s Taste of Greece at Marshall School on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
What to read next
Beer drinking and ax throwing don't sound like two things that should be done simultaneously, but the Duluth brewery has scored a direct hit with taproom visitors.
With July 4 falling on a Monday this year and live entertainment back to pre-pandemic scale, it's shaping up to be one of the most epic long weekends in years.
Entertaining musical opened Friday night and runs through July 17 at the NorShor.
Tuesday marked the summer solstice, and this weekend there are no fewer than four opportunities to celebrate Midsummer in the Northland.