Saint George Middle Eastern Food Festival
Sept. 18, 19 and 20
Saint George Melkite Catholic Church
A food festival that drew some 200 people in its first year now attracts more than 8,500.
Saint George Melkite Catholic Church started its Middle Eastern Food Festival 33 years ago. This year’s event is set for Sept. 18,19 and 20 at the church, 425 16th Ave. South, Birmingham.
Janet Shunnarah was one of the event’s first co-chairmen.
“We started out as an international festival because our parish members were descendants of immigrants from Lebanon, Eastern Europe, Italy and Greece,” Shunnarah said. “After an influx of Middle Easterners from Lebanon and Palestine, it made sense to change the festival to a Middle Eastern Festival.”
This year, food will be served all day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Downtown Birmingham delivery will be available for lunch on Thursday and Friday with a $75 minimum order. For takeout and delivery, call 492-9621.
Homemade foods include Kibbee, rolled grape leaves, Mediterranean style chicken and a selection of vegetarian foods such as spinach pies, falafel, and hummos.
Desserts and pastries include Kaak (date anise cookies), Mamoul (nut and semolina cookies), Zalabieh (fried anise-flavored doughnuts) and buttery Baklawa.
A drive-through service will operate until 7 p.m. each day. Most major credit cards are accepted.
Informative church tours will be conducted during festival hours. Nightly entertainment includes Amin and the Sultans Band from New York and folk dancing performed by the church’s youth.
Vendors and booths will feature handcrafted olive wood from the Holy Land, Byzantine icons and literature, glass jewelry made from the church’s original stained glass, and St. George’s Middle Eastern food cookbook, “Our Favorite Recipes.”
For more information, visit www.saintgeorgeonline.org or check out the church’s Facebook page.