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Annual St. George Middle Eastern Food Festival less than a month away

St. George’s 41st annual Middle Eastern Food Festival will be held from Thursday, Sept. 14 through Saturday, Sept. 16. Hours of operation for dine-in and take-out are 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. and drive-thru hours are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Pickup orders can be placed online at Delivery is also available for orders over $100. 

The menu includes homemade Middle Eastern foods such as baked kibbee, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, meat pies, spinach pies, and hummus. The sweet booth will also include a wide variety of Middle Eastern pastries such as mamoul, hareeseh, kaak, and baklava. Homemade zalabieh (Arabic doughnuts), booza (Arabic ice cream), and Arabic coffee will also be available. 

Festivalgoers will have more than a lot of food to try. There will be continuous guided church tours during the festival, many led by church member Rosalie Ritchey of Hoover. 

“I love this church and I am so proud of this church,” said Ritchey. “Giving tours, to me, is one of my favorite things to do!” She said the highlight of the tour for her is to see scripture come alive through the icons in the church.

Guided church tours will be available daily until 8 p.m. Vendors will feature hand-carved olive wood from the Holy Land, Byzantine icons and literature, glass jewelry made from the church’s original stained glass, and the church’s very own cookbook, Our Favorite Recipes.

Entertainment will be available throughout the weekend, including performances from Amin and the Sultans, a band from New York that plays Middle Eastern music, as well as cultural dancing by the children of the parish. 

“We want people to see what Middle Eastern Christians are like,” said Jeremy Ritchey, co-chair of this year’s festival.

St. George is a parish of the Melkite Diocese of Newton, MA; a nationwide diocese of around 50 parishes, missions, and outreaches. The church is the only Melkite Church of Antioch in Alabama and it boasts a Birmingham presence of over 100 years.

Today, St. George is a vibrant and diverse community located in the heart of Southside at 425 16th Avenue, South. For more information, visit