READING, Pa. - The countdown is on to Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church's 50th annual Greek Food Bazaar in Reading. Volunteers said they refuse to let the tradition be upended by COVID-19.
During a typical year, roughly 10,000 people would make their way through the church's banquet hall.
"It's a really unique cultural experience," said Chris Dikos, one of the festival's chairmen. "Of course, this year, we couldn't do that."
Festival-goers will still be able to sink their teeth into classic favorites like Athenian chicken, stuffed grape leaves and of course the desserts but, this year, customers will be able to place orders online and pick them via a drive thru.
Customers also have the option of ordering in person and a volunteer will bring them their order to a designated spot in the church's parking lot.
The church had two gyro sales during the summer as a test run and to gauge logistics for the festival, which is traditionally the church's biggest fundraiser of the year.
"Like all churches, we were really restricted with how many parishioners could come into the church," Dikos said. "It's been challenging financially."
The faithful hope this year's festival could not only help sure up the church's finances but, perhaps more importantly serve as a comforting sign of steadfast tradition in the face of uncertain times.
"I think if we're blessed we can do it," Dikos said.
The Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church's 50th annual Greek Food Bazaar runs Friday through Sunday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Beginning Friday, you'll be able to place an order on the church's website.