The annual festival thousands have been waiting for is almost here.
Friday, more than 10,000 people will line the streets around Ogden's Greek Community Center at 674 42nd St., waiting to purchase plates of tasty food.
The annual fundraiser for the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church of Ogden started nearly half a century ago, in 1964.
Each year, more than 100 volunteers put in long hours preparing authentic Greek dishes from scratch for weeks prior to the festival -- which always takes place on the last Friday and Saturday of September.
This year's menu features traditional favorites such as slow-roasted lamb, gyros, souvlaki, herbed chicken, tiropitakia, dolmathes, meatballs, pilaf and Greek salad.
Organizer Drew Wilson compared the event to a Greek family gathering, or a holiday feast. "They know how to eat and eat well," he said. His wife is Greek.
According to organizer Mary Kogianes, lots of attendees like to come when the event opens at 10 a.m. to pick up some loukoumades, miniature honey-dipped scones, to enjoy with their morning coffee.
Church members also sell about 24,000 breakfast cookies made from twisted dough that is topped with sesame seeds, baked, sliced and then toasted. These popular treats typically sell out before the festival is over.
Other pastries include holiday breads, sweet breads, frosted crescent rolls and pasta flora -- a delicate dessert of shortbread lattice over apricot preserves.
A few years ago, ravani, a light citrus-flavored cake prepared without butter, was added.
It wouldn't be a Greek festival without the baklava. Volunteers spend extra time on this dessert, cooking the syrup for three hours before pouring it over layers of phyllo, crushed almonds, walnuts and spices, and allowing it to soak overnight.
Other traditional pastries this year include galactobouriko, karithopita, kataifi, melomacarona, yemista, kourambiethes, finikia, theeples, koulourakia and paximadia.
The food is the main draw, but there is also a craft bazaar and import gift shop.
Proceeds from the event are donated to local shelters, hospitals and charities.
- What: Greek Food Festival
- When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 23 and 24
- Where: Greek Community Center, 674 42nd St., South Ogden
- Cost: A la carte food, $1-$6
- Information: 801-399-2231