Greek Food Fair Celebrates 40 Years in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa – The first weekend of June marks the 40th annual Greek Food Fair.

People can try a variety of traditional Greek and Serbian foods at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George.

Some foods include chicken or pork kabobs, spanakopita, gyros, baklava and more.

Owner of Ted’s Coney Island Stacy Velman said the restaurant supplies gyros for the fair.

“This is the gyro cone and we use the authentic way on the spit so that we can cook the outer layer of the cone and then we shave it off with the electric knife,” Velman said.

Velman said in three days, the restaurant will go through around 600 pounds of meat to create over 2,000 gyros.

“We put it on the grill. We wrap it in pita bread. We use our homemade cucumber sauce, onions and tomatoes,” Velman said.

Paul Despenas of the Greek Food Fair Committee said volunteers have been working around the clock to prepare food for the fair.

“Originally this took place in some of the Greek restaurants… and then it got so big at the restaurants we moved it to the church,” Despenas said.

While at the fair people can learn Greek traditional dancing and get a tour of the church.

“The food that we create, even our religion it kind of ties everything together. We are very family oriented and we love to cook and invite people in to eat,” Despenas said.

The Greek Food Fair is open from:

  • June 1st: 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
  • June 2nd: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • June 3rd: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Admission is free, but people can buy $17 tickets worth $20 of food at various locations. The tickets can be purchased at Ted’s Coney Island, Olympic Flame, Price Choppers, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George’s and church members.

The Greek Orthodox Church of St. George is located at 1110 35th Street, Des Moines.

To learn more about the Greek Food Fair click here.