By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Great food, music and dancing, tours of a beautiful church, fun for kids, and more baklava than you might ever see assembled in one place. If all that sounds good to you, plan to attend the Middle Eastern Food Festival taking place at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2019. The annual event in McLean is two full days of fun for all ages.
The main attraction, of course, is food, and here you will find shawarma, chicken kebabs, falafel, fattoush, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, salads, and more, and a roast lamb dinner served on Saturday (6-9 pm) and all day on Sunday. Desserts and plentiful and include Middle Eastern favorites such as baklava along with traditional American treats such as brownies. And yes, of course you can find famous and potent coffees!
Baklava, by the way, can take many forms, and here you’ll find all kinds. Whether you prefer your baklava to have walnuts, pistachios, or pecans; cut into squares or diamond shapes; large or small pieces, you’ll find them all here, along with other similar Middle Eastern treats.
The event also includes games, community vendors, tours of the church, and a Debke dance that instructors can show you how to do. There will be a Middle Eastern Hafli with live music and dancing on Saturday from 6pm to 11pm. For kids, there will be pony rides, a moon bounce, face painting, a playground, and games for a small fee. The Middle Eastern Food Festival has been going on for more than 20 years, and for some families (including ours) it’s a great tradition and fun way to spend the day.
Admission and parking for the Middle Eastern Food Festival are free. The event will be held rain or shine on Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and on Sunday from noon to 6 pm. All activities take place at the church, located at 8501 Lewinsville Road, McLean, Virginia 22102.