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Join the happy crowds at the St. Demetrios Greek Festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a local favorite since 1960. There’s the food — calamari, gyro, moussaka, spanakopita, baklava and loads of other Greek specialties — all prepared by church members. In addition, there is traditional music and dancing by church groups of all ages, and the shopping, from religious icons to art, jewelry, Greek imports and Hellenic Cultural Bookstore.

The festival’s giant centerpiece tent is lined with food vendors offering a large selection of Greek food, snacks, pastries and desserts, with plenty of seating around the elevated stage to see Greek folk dancing with traditional music and costumes performing 7 to 8:45 p.m. Friday, 1 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. A selection of Greek beer and wine and large screens showing the weekend’s major football, baseball and soccer games fill the covered outdoor Taverna, and Greek wine tasting is available inside the Cultural Center. Take a bit of the festival home with Greek specialties from the Deli and an array of pastries packed to-go.

Church buildings house the vendor shops and the dining room with table service or to-go meals with main dish entrees and Greek salad, vegetable, rice and Greek pastry, noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tours of the church, a Montlake neighborhood landmark designed by Seattle World’s Fair architect Paul Thiry in 1962, are available several times daily explaining Orthodox Christianity and the history of St. Demetrios parish.

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Parking in the neighborhood is limited. Free parking and shuttle service are available Saturday and Sunday from Seattle Preparatory School parking garage and Montlake Elementary School.

Also this weekend, celebrate the independence days of Mexico and other Latin American countries at Fiestas Patrias in South Park Saturday and Seattle Center Saturday and Sunday. A parade with dancing horses, floats, marching bands and kids in traditional Latin American dress starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, on South Henderson Street to South Park Community Center, Seattle, followed by community fiesta health fair and activities for all ages until 6 p.m. Saturday in South Park. Seattle Center events Saturday and Sunday include salsa and Tex-Mex music, displays, art, music, dance and food.

Madeline McKenzie:

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