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After Two Year Pandemic Hiatus, Tallahassee's Greek Food Festival Returns

Tom Flanigan
Festival patrons packed the dining tents set up in the church yard.

Tallahassee's oldest and arguably most popular ethnic food festival returned this weekend after a two-year pandemic break. Organizers reported record crowds at Friday and Saturday's Greek Food Festival.
Those crowds were treated to traditional Greek dancing and music, as well as traditional Greek cuisine, such as the gyros crafted by former Tallahassee restauranteur Manny Joannos.

"We've got a bigger crowd than we ever had! Pent-up demand, I mean it's been 2 years since we've done this. The people are ready for it and they're thanking us for opening up," Joannos smiled as he raced to accomodate the long lines awaiting the Greek delicacy.

For decades, the event has been hosted by Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church on Phillips Road, where Father Rob O'Laughlin is the presiding priest.

"Certainly the food, the culture, the dancing, the music, and our faith. So it brings everybody together," said O'Laughlin by way of explaining the persistent attraction of his church's effort to put more "unity" in the word "community."

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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