Sunday, June 25, 2000

Greek living celebrated at Panegyri

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        You don't need to be able to pronounce galatobouriko, baklava, or gyro at the Panegyri Festival in Finneytown.

        All you need to say is “Food of the Gods.”

(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
        The multisyllabic fare is tasty and affordable, and can be enjoyed again today as the three-day festival, expected to draw 80,000, concludes.

        The 26th annual ethnic festival raises funds for the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Finneytown, Cincinnati's only Greek Orthodox parish. It runs 1-9 p.m. in the church's parking lot.

        Besides food, the festival imparts cultural education in the form of a traditional Greek folk band and dancers. Participants can also tour the church's sanctuary for education on the Greek Orthodox faith.

        For Vicky Dantsis, who grew up in Green Township but now resides in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, the festival is a pleasant reminder of times gone by.

        Mrs. Dantsis, 39, is in town visiting relatives. She brought her two children: Peter, 8, and Katerina, 7, to the festival Saturday.

        They got their first taste of Skyline Chili. They liked it.

        “Greek food is nothing new to them,” Mrs. Dantsis said with a smile.

        The church's gymnasium has been transformed into a marketplace, complete with booths of pastries, breads and other delicacies.

        At the pastry booth Saturday, Mary Trohanis of Covedale doted over trays of eight different kinds of fresh-baked honey-filled desserts, galatobouriko and baklava.

        She has overseen the pastry booth since the festival's inception.

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