Everything is Greek for anyone who indulges in the Holy Trinity Food Festival

Consuming kourabiedes is a bit like swimming underwater. It’s best to hold your breath while eating the Greek treat, as the sugary, powdery cookies will coat your face if you’re not careful.

Greek cuisine, much like the 86th Annual Greek Festival, is pure indulgence. The event, which began in 1935 at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is back as a dining experience for the first time since the pandemic.

The festival was canceled in 2020 but takeout was offered in 2021.

“We are very excited about what we believe is the longest running Greek food festival at a Greek church in the country,” said Reverend Dan Triant. “We have so much history here. It started as a spaghetti dinner in our basement.

A Greek spaghetti dinner? “Yes,” said Triant. “It was Greek spaghetti with our spices and cheese.”

Sounds good, but don’t look for the spaghetti on the 2022 menu. Treat yourself to delicious gyros stuffed to the brim. The lamb is tender and tangy, but what makes Trinity Gyros special is the homemade tzatziki sauce.

The gyros are must-try dishes, but must be followed by the addictive kourabiedes and heavenly baklava.

Another great dessert option is loukoumades or Greek fried dough balls, which are dripping with honey. And then there are the koulourakia, which are sweet and glazed with a hint of vanilla. Whatever the sweet, it should be followed up with a cup of Greek coffee, which is strong and delicious.

“We have fun and tasty options,” Triant said. “I love our cabbage. I love our Greek sausages.

Triant expects the biggest crowd to gather since moving from Seattle to lead the flock to Spokane’s only Greek Orthodox Church in August 2020. However, he insists the pastries will be offered from Thursday until the event ends Saturday. Last year, some goods disappeared late Friday afternoon.

“We now know how to do much more and we will do it,” Reverend Triant said. “Last year was my first Greek festival and we saw record numbers. We will be prepared this year.

After tasting Greek cuisine, people can dance the sugar. Or attendees can have another treat and watch the dancers, who are usually children.

“But you might see me there for a song or two,” Triant said. “Dancing is a big part of what we do. We eat and we dance. Some of the most basic dances are simply walking in a line. You move to the beat of the music and it’s great fun to feel the music.

“Dance brings people together. It’s great fun to eat Greek food and move around the dance floor.

There is an option for those seeking spiritual guidance. Tours of the church will be offered to those interested.

“There’s no pressure,” Triant said. “We welcome everyone to come and see what we are doing. There are a lot of people looking. We had many visitors.

“People are looking for something deeper, especially after the pandemic has started. Spokane has seen its growth explode and so have we. Before, we were 100% Greek, but that has changed over the years. We have Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians, Ethiopians and Syrians. We are open and welcoming. Of course, if you just want to come and eat and dance, that’s fine with us. We’re just happy to finally be back in full swing.

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