11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. Anunciation Greek Orthodox Church. $3 or three canned food items.
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (1100 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock) has been a longtime home to the beloved International Greek Food Festival, surrounded on all sides by cars and pedestrians for a few days a year as visitors scramble to secure some chicken gyro platters from the fest’s drive-through lane or to catch a performance from one of the Middle Eastern or Irish dance troupes. This year, festival visitors can pause in front of an elaborate new altar icon in the church’s Annunciation room: a 700,000-piece glass mosaic of Christ situated at the Annunciation’s altar, handmade by a studio in Italy and designed especially for the space. Or, just seek your divinity at one of the food vendor spots and sample some of the fest’s best grub. The festival’s staples — gyros, pastitsio, spanakopita, lamb burgers — are joined by the Sundae in Athens, a scoop of ice cream topped with buttery shards of baklava; a “vegeterranean” platter of seasoned rice with Greek salad pita and dressed green beans; the Olympic Sundae, loukoumades (Greek doughnut holes) atop vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey syrup; an “OpaTizer” platter of Greek meatballs, dolmades, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, sliced tomato, cucumber and pita; a gyro salad; and a light, lemony Ouzo Cake.
Proceeds from food sales, as well as the $3 entrance fee to the festival, benefit the Arkansas Foodbank, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, Community Connections, Easterseals Arkansas, Humane Society of Pulaski County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, Wolfe Street Foundation and Youth Home, and runs Fri.-Sun., May 17-19. Get the full menu and an entertainment schedule here.