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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many cultural traditions in Lancaster County to be canceled or postponed this year.

But that can’t stop the souvlaki!

The 62nd annual Greek food bazaar, which has been downsized from its usual size due to pandemic protocols, will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the Greek dishes and pastries that thousands of Lancaster counties look forward to each year will be served in a drive-thru-only format at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation on Hershey Avenue.

But the music, dancing, vendors, church tours, and the rest of the Greek cultural offerings that typically accompany the food inside the church will be absent this year.

“We will have four drive-thru lanes,” said Alexandra Schramm, event co-chair. “They will be right outside the back door, in the widest part of our parking lot.


Volunteers prepare a baklava for the Greek Bazaar at the Annunciation Geek Orthodox Church in Lancaster on Saturday, October 31, 2020.

“We’re going to space two tents apart, then we’ll have our ‘air traffic controllers’ guiding the traffic, going from two lanes to four lanes and back down to two lanes to get out (the lot),” Schramm says. “We will have pastries available in the first two tents, then additional pastries in a (separate) tent at the bottom” of the parking lot. ”

The menu is more limited than usual this year, with only one type of souvlaki platter available, as well as a smaller amount of some of the Greek desserts traditionally sold at the bazaar.

“It’s definitely reduced,” says Schramm. “The items we make are labor intensive and require a lot of volunteers. And we can’t have all of these people (close to each other) and still have appropriate protocols ”for COVID-19.

The menu

The souvlaki platter, consisting of a pork and a chicken shish-kebab, rice, spanakopita (spinach pie), Greek salad, pita bread and tzatziki sauce, costs $ 13 in advance or $ 15 on weekdays. the event.

Desserts, including kourambiethes (Greek butter cookies), koulourakia (twisted cookies), Turkish delight (honey balls), baklava (layered pastries with nuts) and rice pudding, will be prepackaged and will vary in price from $ 7 to $ 15 per container.


Pans of baklava, which will be served at this weekend’s Greek Bazaar, are cooked at the Annunciation Geek Orthodox Church in Lancaster on Saturday, October 31, 2020.

“We’re also offering online orders… for the first time this year,” says Schramm. “Which we are excited about. “

Advance tickets can be ordered through the event website or by calling the church (see box attached).

“The variety box will be different,” says Schramm, “because we couldn’t put all the (pastries) that we usually put in it, but I think everyone is going to love it, because we put more stuff than we do. everybody Loves.

The event will also offer the opportunity to donate to a food program.

“Given the hunger and food insecurity that is prevalent there now,” says Schramm, “we have started a program called Donate a Dinner. Those who order food can donate online or in the tents behind the wheel.


Volunteers prepare a baklava for the Greek Bazaar at the Annunciation Geek Orthodox Church in Lancaster on Saturday, October 31, 2020.

The church will match every $ 10 donated; the proceeds will be used to fund the church’s bi-weekly food box distribution program for needy people in the community.

For a religious community that turns 100 in 2021, “part of what we love is not just sharing our food each year, but also sharing our hospitality and culture – with dancing and guided tours of the world. ‘church – so it really touches everyone parts of the Greek Orthodox faith and culture, ”says Schramm.

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But because the public cannot enter the church right now, “we’re going to feed the people this year,” she adds. “As with everything, this is untested territory. We hope people will support us.

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