On the first day of fall, Tucsonans can begin celebrating the passing of summer and the culture of Greece, with its mouth-watering souvlaki, flaming saganaki, flaky spanakopita, buttery baklava and spicy Ouzo.

It's Greek Festival weekend, Sept. 23-26, at St. Demetrious Church on East Fort Lowell.

Traditional, annual culinary, musical and art venues are coming back, along with new offerings. The newly expanded Greek deli offers new flavors of homemade hummus. Freshly mixed Greek salads are conveniently packaged.

Imported Greek products are available for purchase, among them "Brikis," the copper pots used to make Greek coffee, along with beehive olive oil decanters, olive oil dipping bowls in a variety of colors, and Greek spices.

There are live performances of Greek music and the award-winning Panathenian Dancers.

Opa Restaurant, Big Fat Greek Restaurant and James Gekas, previous owner of the Palomino Restaurant, are helping guests learn how to pit Greek olives, make Greek appetizers, and more. For a complete schedule of performances and demos, visit http://www.stdemetriostucson.org/.

Admission to the festival is $3 per person per day, and free for children under 12 and those in active military duty who have IDs.

Free parking and shuttle service are available from the Amphi Plaza parking lot, First Avenue and Fort Lowell, on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, there is additional free parking and a shuttle service from Salpointe Catholic High School, one block south of Glenn on Mountain.

On Thursday and Sunday, anyone who brings a can of food for the Community Food Bank receives a $1 coupon good toward the purchase of items from the food line.

Proceeds from the festival benefit various ministries of the church. For additional information, visit the website at www.stdemtucson.org, or call 888-0505.

Greek Festival 2010

St. Demetrious Church, 1145 East Fort Lowell Rd, Tucson

Thursday, Sept. 23, 5-10 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 24, 5-11 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 25, 4-11 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 26, Noon-6:30 p.m.

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