Know a sure sign of autumn? Tucson's annual Greek Festival is Sept. 24-27.

The celebration of traditional food, drink and entertainment is a showcase of Tucson's vibrant Greek community.

"For four days, the hardworking members of St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church share the delicious and exciting traditions of their heritage with the public," a release said.

Along with food, beverages, imports and entertainment, this year's festival features cooking demonstrations for unique Greek dishes. Among them are:

Tzatsiki sauce — The yogurt and cucumber sauce for gyros or any meat dish;

Prosforo — Traditional communion bread made by women selected by the priest. It is blessed and given after communion;

Kolyva — Ceremonial wheat — the staff of life — a mixture of cinnamon, nuts and wheat used in memorial ceremonies to symbolize the coming resurrection;

Baklava — the most popular of Greek desserts;

Greek dressing with watermelon — refreshing and very easy;

Koulouraki — traditional butter cookies made all year long for all holidays.

This year, a second stage has been added to the main stage. Dates and times for food demonstrations and musical performances can be found at www.stdemtucson.org.

Admission to the festival is $3 per day, and free to children under 12 and active military personnel. On Friday and Saturday, admission is free for those who park and take the shuttle from Salpointe Catholic High School located one block south of Glenn on Mountain. On Thursday and Sunday, anyone who brings a can of food for the community food bank will receive a $1 coupon good towards the purchase of items from the food line.

For additional information, visit the website at www.stdemtucson.org or call (520) 888-0505.

Greek Festival ' 09

St. Demetrious Church

1145 East Ft. Lowell Rd., Tucson

Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 24-27.

Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 4-11 p.m; Sunday, noon to 6:30 p.m.

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