St. Symeon Orthodox Church Sticks with Outdoor Format for 4th Annual Food and Culture Fair This October 8

Church Invites Guests to Tour Church, Hear Concert, Learn about Iconography, Eat Favorite Ethnic Foods, and Shop at Open-Air, Multi-Ethnic Bakery and Marketplace.

Birmingham, AL, August 29, 2022 --( The St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair returns to Clairmont Avenue this October 8 from 9-3 with an outdoor marketplace featuring baked goods, gifts, and hot food items such as Greek donuts and homemade pierogi, as well as church tours, a choir concert, and a lecture about iconography.

Each year, church members work in teams to create four booths that loosely coincide with the different ethnic backgrounds of the congregation: the Balkan Bakery, the Slavic Tea Room, Cafe Europa, and Southern Sweets and Savories. Each booth features homemade baked goods and gifts. A separate booth this year will offer Turkish coffee with cardamom sugar cubes and Slavic tea from a samovar with traditional sweeteners including jam.

Guests can enjoy treats on site in the church fellowship hall and also stock up on baked goods to take home. There will be live music in the fellowship hall for guests to enjoy.

“Last year, we moved the booths outside under individual tents to create an open-air market,” said event chairperson Niki May. “This year, we’re keeping the open-air format but moving the four booths under one big tent to maximize the shade and keep everyone cool.”

Guests at this year’s food and culture fair will also find made-to-order loukoumades, or fried Greek honey puffs, in a variety of flavors. The event will also feature sausage roll sandwiches and homemade pierogi as hot lunch options.

“Last fall, we spent a week making about 2,000 homemade pierogi, which are Slavic potato dumplings with cheese and onions, and those all sold out, so we are getting ready to spend some quality time together again, making as many pierogi as we can,” May added. In addition to hot pierogi with onions and other condiments, pierogi are also available frozen by the dozen.

“At St. Symeon, we love to bake and cook,” May said, “but our parish is really known for our choir.” The St. Symeon Orthodox Church Choir has recorded several albums, and its work is in regular rotation on Ancient Faith Radio. The choir will present a concert at 11 a.m. titled “Cross and Resurrection.”

“The cross and the resurrection of our Lord are at the heart of our faith,” explained Fr. Alexander Fecanin, the church rector at St. Symeon. “The concert will give our guests a sampling of some of the hymns from Holy Week and Easter, which is the high point of the church year,” the priest added.

The church, which was built in 2014 and features floor-to-ceiling icon murals painted in traditional Byzantine style, will be open for tours throughout the fair. At 1 p.m., Protodeacon Ephraim Rivers will present “What is Iconography?,” a talk explaining the ancient Christian tradition of sacred art and the role of icons in Orthodox Christianity. Additionally, a church member will be presenting a slideshow in the fellowship hall featuring photography from Orthodox Christian monasteries throughout North America and will be available to discuss the role of monasticism in the life of the Church.

St. Symeon Orthodox Church is located at 3101 Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham. It is a parish of the Orthodox Church in America, a jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Regular weekly services include Great Vespers on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and the Divine Liturgy on Sundays at 10 a.m. A full schedule of services is available at Services are in English and visitors are welcome.
St. Symeon Orthodox Church
Susie Spence