Mark your calendar now for the Middle-Eastern Festival of Indianapolis, which is scheduled for July 17-19, 2009. This colorful annual event is sponsored by St. George’s Parish, which was founded by Orthodox Christian immigrants from Syria and Lebanon who chose to made Indiana their new home in the early 1900s. While the parish has since grown to include members of all ethnicities, they stay true to their roots and keep the Middle-Eastern spirit of hospitality alive through this enlightening and fun-filled festival. The mission of the event is to help promote peace and understanding to people of all backgrounds, starting in Indianapolis.
Attendees of the festival have their pick of fun activities, ranging from church tours to food sampling to a universal favorite-shopping! Festival-goers will have the opportunity to browse in an air-conditioned indoor shopping center for gifts and other goodies, including traditional Middle Eastern jewelry, CDs, food, and cookbooks. In addition, there is a silent auction with items donated by a wide variety of local merchants. If you get tired of shopping, head out to the streets, where a generous spread of authentic Middle-Eastern treats will be available for tasting. The menu will feature such delicacies as lamb shanks, falafel (mashed chick peas in warm pita bread), gyros, tyropita (filo dough stuffed with melted feta cheese), spinach pies, and a wide array of desserts. Be sure to check out the dancing and cooking demonstrations while you munch! Adult and children‘s dance performances are scheduled continually throughout the day, complete with dazzling, authentic costumes. There are booths set up with cultural displays as well, allowing attendees to broaden their horizons while enjoying a day of entertainment and fun. Be sure not to miss this three-day opportunity to learn about the history and way of life of another culture!