The church rented out a bounce house for the children to play in.
The Festival began as a fundraiser for Lebanese immigrants that began the church in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The fest today today celebrates the many different cultures that come together to worship.
Long-time festival attendee, and now volunteer, Carolyn Mendoza, said she loves the festival because of the family orientation. Even though she has recently moved away to Georgetown she decided to volunteer this year at the coupon booth.
On Saturday Oct. 19, St. Elias Roman Orthodox Church held its annual Mediterranean Fest.
Church member Eugene Uchalies teaches Carmen Espinoza a thing or two about chess.
Many church members set up booths to raise money for charities. Featuring foods such as falafel and gyros .
Ohter family members greet each other as they get prepared to serve an Eritrean Sampler plate. The sampler included beef stew, Enjera bread, and has a vegetarian alternative.
Judy Delarosa on the left sifts through indian clothing with her friend Jan Singer. They said they attend the fest because of the shopping and the music.
Georgia Xydes sells paintings and handmade icons. Icons were used to associate saints with certain symbols to help teach their stories. Xydes said she has to follow a set of rules to make the icons correct.
The Stack family takes a quick break from the fair. Mrs. Stack said she used to come to the festival all the time a few years ago. Now, she has made a return and is happy that she gets to share the experience with her husband and son Ian.
Julia and Samuel Ross visited the church like many of the festival goers. They said they view the church as,”one of Austin’s gems,” because of it’s close-knit feel regardless of the many different cultures that worship there.
Gladys, Annette and Kayla are graduate students from Texas State University. They heard about the festival through 365thingsaustin.com. They said the chance to enjoy some great Mediterranean food and culture made them jump into their car and make the journey to Austin from San Marcos.
An assortment of religious decorations.
Chloe Nicolaus prepares canolis for a customer. Her Greek family also had Gelato and Namoura at there booth. Namoura is a dessert cake made with semolina butter and coconut topped with a fragrant sugar based syrup.
Father David Barr of St. Elias said half of the proceeds from the festival goes to charities. The rest of the money is put toward renovating the church and its expansion.