MASON CITY | Come be Greek for a day, North Iowa.
Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church will host its Greek Festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at the church, 1311 Second St. SW, in Mason City.
“It’s a huge deal,” said Jane Reynolds, member of the parish council.
The festival, which attracts thousands annually, will feature Greek entertainment and food, including its acclaimed chicken cooked outdoors and roast lamb.
The appetizer menu will be expanded this year and will include a sampler platter with loukaniko, a Greek sausage, said Kelli Sheehy, president of the parish council and chairperson for the Greek Festival.
The bake sale, featuring a variety of Greek cookies and pastries, opens at 10 a.m. in the church basement.
In addition to chicken and lamb dinners, the festival menu comprises spanakopita (spinach pie), gyros, souvlaki (chicken or pork on a stick), pastitso (Greek lasagna), dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice with egg lemon sauce), loukoumathes (hot puffs with honey and cinnamon) and baklava ice cream sundaes. Hot dogs will be available for children or others who prefer an American bite.
Beverages will include Greek wine, Greek and American beer and pop.
There will be a free children's tent with crafts, games and face painting.
The Greek Dancers of Minnesota are scheduled to perform hourly from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the cash raffle with prizes up to $2,000 will be on sale before and during the festival for $50 each.
“Our parish members have been working very hard the past few weeks to get ready,” Sheehy said. “We also have many community volunteers that help us continue this great tradition.”
This year, the church started a Friends of the Greek Festival campaign to raise more money, and it received “a wonderful response from the parish and the community.”
Proceeds from the festival support the work of the church — a congregation of about 75 families.
For more information, call the church office at 641-423-6238.