The Greeks have a word for it — “thav-ma-sios” — which means “wonderful.” And wonderful is what attendees will experience Oct. 21-23 at the 24th annual “Taste of Greece” festival hosted by St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Peoria.

Festival attendees will be transported to a Grecian Village featuring:

• Mediterranean cuisine such as souvlaki, moussaka, pastitsio, gyros, kalamari, roast lamb, salads, cheeses, bread and more, along with domestic and imported beer, wine and soft drinks.

• Coffee (American and Greek) and desserts, including loukoumades (honey-dipped doughnut holes made fresh right before your eyes), baklava, cookies and other tempting sweets.

• In the “agora” (marketplace), shop for gift items such as jewelry and art; purchase Greek food products, souvenirs (“worry” beads, blue-eye beads, Greek music CDs, T-shirts, caps and more); and buy fashionable accessories such as pashima shawls and comfortable gauze outfits that are perfect for the Valley’s warm climate.

• Children, dressed in authentic Greek costumes, dancing traditional Hellenic folk dances.

• For children’s fun, a fantasy fun playground of giant inflatable toys will be on site where they can jump, bounce and slide.

• The Loukoumades Eating Contest is new this year. Whet your competitive and gustatory appetites to see if you can stuff your face with as many of these desserts in the shortest amount of time. Door prizes will be offered.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to benefit the West Valley Child Crisis Center.

Festival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 21; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 22 and noon to 8 p.m. Oct. 23. St. Haralambos Church is at 7950 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, just east of 83rd Avenue in Peoria. For information, call 623-486-8665 or visit www.peoriagreekfest.com.

Admission is $2 for adults, children under 12 are free, as well as students and active military with proper ID.

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