Live entertainment, outdoor seating and more menu items are all part of the return of the Oakmont Greek Food Festival later this month.
It is the 47th year for the festival presented by the Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church at 12 Washington Ave.
Food will be served from noon to 9 p.m. June 25-27. Entertainment may go longer into the night.
Event co-chair Andy Gavrilos said volunteers have been working very hard and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to make it as pre-pandemic as possible.
“We’re very excited about that,” he said. “The community has been asking us (to return to normal). They have been very patient as we try to navigate the issues of the last year. Everybody’s struggled.
“Our hope and our belief is our community will support the decisions we’ve made. We’re still evolving. We’re still assessing guidelines and rules and considering some other options.”
One of the decisions was to bring back moussaka — layers of ground beef with potatoes and eggplant accented with bechamel sauce. It was one of the items cut from the the festival last year when it went drive-thru with no dancers, no seating and a very limited menu.
Other food changes include a new chocolate lover’s pack of pastries and one that is baklava only.
Honey balls were once again stricken from the menu. However, sources said they may be added closer to the festival. Updates will be posted to its Facebook page.
Signature dinners such as chicken Alexis, lamb shanks, pork souvlaki and the church’s legendary gyros will be available while supplies last.
Grecian Odyssey Dancers and the Jr. Grecian Stars are expected to perform all three days.
Organizers debated the past couple months about bringing back the drive-thru layout with motorists following traffic cones and ropes to an ordering tent with three spots.
But Gavrilos said they felt comfortable with restrictions being lifted and enough people being vaccinated to have people walk up outside and have limited seating.
“I think people are ready to forget the trials and tribulations of the last 18 months and get back to having some fun,” Gavrilos said. “We did have good success (with drive-thru). We worked hard to really streamline the process and make it go as quick as possible. Earlier in the year, we were pretty convinced that we were going to do another drive-thru.
“We did some preliminary planning with that thought in mind with some hope that things would open up. We think we’re going to get a nice crowd based on the fact things are opening up. There are still some people who are still leery of crowds.”
Masks are recommended but not mandated. Patrons are also asked to socially distance when possible.
Cash transactions are prohibited; debit or credit cards accepted.
More information is available at dormitionpgh.org or by calling 412-828-4144.