LACONIA — The 29th Annual Greek Summer Festival, which will be held Saturday, July 25 at Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church, will feature Greek music, authentic Greek food and pastries, specialty imports and dry goods as well as a chance to win $10,000 in cash prizes in a raffle.
The festival has become a fixture of the Lakes Region summer scene and involves about 40 members of the church who are involved in preparing and serving the food, decorating the dining hall and according to long-time church member and event organizer Angie Argiropoulis.
The event gets underway at 10 a.m. with music and he opportunity to browse through the imports and dry goods with dinner being served from 11:30 a.m.
The menu includes baked lamb shank, roast leg of lamb and Greek style baked chicken dinners all served with Greek salad, rice, rolls and butter .
Also offered will be Dolmathes. which are grape leaves stuffed with hamburger and rice, Greek sausage, Pastitsio, baked macaroni and cheese meat pie, and Spanakopita, the famous Greek spinach pie.
Pastries and desserts include baklava, koulourakia, finikia, diples and fruit bars.
A raffle offers a first prize of $5,000 in cash and $5,000 more in prizes. Only 200 tickets at $100 each will be sold.
The Greek community in Laconia organized its first parish in 1931, with services held in private homes. Founders of the church were George Mastoras, Stanley Emanuel, Paul Christy, John Orthafenes, James Salta and Michael Argiropoulis. A woman's auxiliary called Athens was formed in 1933.
In 1936 George Mastoras, owner of the Crystal Restaurant and the building in which it was housed, offered space on the third floor for a place of worship.
In 1957 plans were made to build a church on land purchased on the corner of North Main Street and Oak Street and in 1958 the Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church opened its doors with 43 members. Current church members recalled that Ed Spadafora, who ran the Captain's Table Restaurant on Union Avenue, was among those who helped make certain that the church was successful.
In 1986 the church celebrated its 50th anniversary. James Noucas was president at that time and Peter and Hope Makris became godparents of the church.
Others who have served as president of he church include Stanley Emanuel, George Mastoras, Paul Christy, Milton Christy, Arthur Ortakales, Dennis Yaianis, George Phillips, Peter Kariagianis, James Tatakes, George Anthony, George Condodematraky and Peter Makris.
Displaying some of the Greek pastries which will be offered at the 29th Annual Greek Summer Festival at Taxiarchai Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday, July 25, are Angie Argiropoulis, Agloia Rouvails, Peter Tsakaris and Mary Garside. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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