Glendi Ethnic Food Fair

On Saturday, September 20, 2008, after an uneventful morning at the San Mateo Farmers Markets (which I'm not going to bother blogging about), I headed north to Saint Seraphim Church in Santa Rosa for its Glendi Ethnic Food Fair. (Incidentally, why do Eastern European Orthodox churches always have food festivals and most other religious institutions do not?)

I felt a little guilty driving so far for a festival: by my calculation, I spent $20 on gas (plus a $5 bridge toll) and its correspondingly large carbon footprint. It, however, was a pleasant drive--because the day was clear and sunny, the views were nice, especially from the golden gate bridge.

The church is on the rural outskirts of Santa Rosa. The festival's parking lot, made of dried dirt scattered with hay, was across from a pasture with a sign: cattle for sale.

When I arrived, I joined a church tour already in progress. The church is under renovation: it is getting frescoes painted on the bare walls. The monk explained what would go where and showed us drafts of the frescoes. He also pointed out architectural facets. He went into such detail, I got bored and left to see what else there was.

Everything at the fair was either food or affiliated with the church. I spent much of the rest of the time eating, listening to music, reading a book I brought, and watching the dancers. Regarding eating, there were a variety of food booths: Russian, Macedonian, Eritrean, Greek (including gyros and kabobs), Middle Eastern, Balkan, and a huge (though ordinary) bakery indoors. The Balkan booth was staffed by cute old women who were probably people's grandmothers. The Eritrean booth was run by a family who thought about running a restaurant--they'd been repeatedly asked to by others--, but haven't and really prefer doing this festival every year. It's lower stress and lower expenses.

These photographs and videos display the entertainment and reveal what I ate at the festival.

Right before I left, I listened to some choral music in the church, though got bored after about twenty minutes and left for the long drive home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can I send you an email.
please respond to iowahouse @ gmail . com

I have some questions about some photos you took.