POCATELLO — Every year, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Pocatello hosts one of eastern Idaho’s biggest summer celebrations of the year — the Greek Festival.
While much of the money made through donations and the purchase of food during the festival goes to upkeep costs at the century-old church, a portion is donated to local charity organizations. This year, the church and its “philoptochos” ministry donated $5,250 to seven organizations.
Parish Priest, Father Constantine Zozos, called it a pleasure to help some of the local non-profits.
“We are so blessed to be in Pocatello, to have all these agencies that help so many of the challenged individuals in this community,” he told EastIdahoNews.com. “You’ll never know when you’re going to be on hard times.”
Among the organizations who received donations was Aid for Friends, Center for Hope and the Idaho Food Bank.
Now that the money from last year’s festival has been distributed, the parishioners will begin preparation for this year’s event.
Asked if there will be any changes to this year’s festival, Zozos said the church is looking into having a block of East Wyeth Street closed off — to create a block party feel. There is also one major step being taken to shorten the wait for food.
“We are going to try to put a third (food line) in, to make things go faster,” Zozos said. “And we’ll have to make more food.”
Entertainment will once again be provided by an ethnic dancing troupe from Salt Lake City, performing traditional dances from the different regions in Greece.
Like last year, take-home, family-sized portions of select meals will me available for purchase.
“All the food that’s prepared — we use the highest-grade ingredients, we don’t skimp on anything,” Zozos said. “We have something for everyone here.”
The festival is typically held inn August.