11 November 2006

Greek Festival . . . OPA!

Steve, Katie, & I enjoyed the Greek Festival at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach. We'd all been looking forward to the food all week, and we were not disappointed. Unfortunately, they ran out of galactobouriko by the time we were ready for dessert, so Steve & I had to settle for baklava. We also enjoyed the gyros and dolmathakia (grape leaves stuffed with rice and sirloin, topped with a lemon butter sauce).
The church owns prime riverfront property. The Dunlawton bridge provided a gorgeous backdrop to the courtyard stage and tavern. The church's kids performed cultural dances. It was so cute to see the young 1st and 2nd grade boys dancing with such gusto and attitude. While they boys and girls danced, their parents would run up to them and shower them with dollar bills.
We enjoyed our Greek food on a pier overlooking the Halifax River. At the end of the evening, we toured Saint Demetrios church which was in the shape of a cross. The incense smelled beautiful, and the walls were painted with colorful relics and adorned with golden icons. Heavy wooden carvings of leaves and peacocks decorated large shelving units, and other church staples (alter, and some other things I couldn't identify). At the front of the church, there was a large, dome ceiling covered in beautiful paintings. From it, hung a very large golden chandelier. And adjacent room in the entry way had what Katie described as a confession room. It was dimly lit with red lanterns, and the walls were covered with religious paintings of saints, and Biblical scenes. The church was filled with beautiful artwork, but it all seemed so foreign to me from any church that I've ever entered.
We had fantastic food and a really fun evening! I'm glad I found out about the festival from a patient.

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