A plate of food at the 2019 Greek Food Festival in Surrey, as seen on the event’s Facebook page.

A plate of food at the 2019 Greek Food Festival in Surrey, as seen on the event’s Facebook page.

Surrey’s Greek Food Festival offers ‘drive-thru’ service on Labour Day weekend

In Cloverdale, Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival returns later in September

Surrey’s Greek Food Festival is back, with a twist.

The annual event is typically held during two weeks in June, but was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, on Labour Day weekend (Sept. 4-7), a “drive-thru” version of the event is planned at the festival’s usual gathering spot, Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church (13181 96th Ave., Surrey), daily from noon to 8 p.m.

“Come and drive thru to pick up you favourite Surrey Greek food festival meal,” says a message on surreygreekfoodfest.com, where food orders can be placed.

“Who else is craving loukoumathes all summer?” festival organizers posted to facebook.com/SurreyGreek.

“Greek Food is that perfect meal for a nice picnic at Bear Creek Park or White Rock Beach.”

The church property has hosted the “pop-up” festival for more than two decades, as an annual fundraiser. The menu has included plates of BBQ lamb dinners, chicken or pork souvlaki and a vegetarian option, along with wraps, calamari and traditional desserts.

“It seems to be that Greek communities all over North America do something like this. It’s neat. We kind of give our philotimo – we call it – to our greater community,” John Kantarakias, the board secretary for the organizing group Greek Community of Surrey and Fraser Valley, said prior to the 2019 festival.

Philotimo, Kantarakias said, has no translation into English. “The only way that I know how to kind of explain it is, we make strangers into family or family out of strangers. It is just the Greek way,” he said.

Meantime, the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival has announced a fall drive-thru series for several sites in September.

“We are so grateful to have received an overwhelming amount of support for our events this summer and we are excited to extend the fun into the fall,” festival operator Jason Faria explained in an email.

“First find us at CLA Langley, 21277 56th Avenue, on Saturday September 12 & 13th from 11-6 PM. Over the two days, prepare to eat from the 15 different trucks joining us over the weekend, including new local food trucks! Be sure to bring family or a friend to share with, and enjoy the amazing food and great tunes while supporting local amazing businesses,” he said.

Vendors that weekend will include Hunky Bill’s, Next Gen. Concessions’ Smash Burgers, Los Tacos Hermanos, the WINGS Food Truck, The Truckin’ BBQ and more.

The festival rolls into Chilliwack Heritage Park on Sept. 19 before stopping at Cloverdale Fairgrounds on the weekend of Sept. 26-27. The fairgrounds will future an assortment of trucks offering table favourites, international and even vegan options, Faria noted.

“Our events are always free admission,” Faria said. “All truck vendors accept cash, debit, and credit cards. No need to pre-pay or buy tickets. Each truck will have their own individual lineup and there will be a loop-around lane for the opportunity to try multiple places. In the spirit of having a safe and productive event, all staff members are held to the highest sanitation standards for both their safety and the safety of all customers.”

More details are posted to greatervanfoodtruckfest.com.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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