This month’s St. Elias Mediterranean food and music festival started 70 years before ACL

It’s the 86th year for Medfest, the St. Elias Mediterranean Festival that takes place every year at the St. Elias Orthodox Church downtown.

Arabic folk band Layalina performs at the 82nd annual St. Elias Mediterranean Festival in 2014. The festival features Mediterranean food and music, kids activities and a bazaar. It is a fund raiser for the historic downtown church. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Thanks to the Jabour family, which runs Twin Liquors and has a long history in Central Texas, this festival celebrating Mediterranean cuisine and culture has taken place since the early 1930s. The Austin City Limits Music Festival, by comparison, started in 2002, a mere 70 years later.

In 2006, Bill Attal, left, and George Oldziey practiced their dance steps in preparation for the St. Elias Mediterranean Festival. American-Statesman file photo

This year, the Mediterranean festival returns September 21 and 22 at the church at  408 E. 11th Street with Mediterranean foods, cocktails, wines, beer, a shopping bazaar, dancing and live Arabic and Greek music. Festivities will run from 6 to 11 p.m. on the 21st and noon to 11 p.m. on the 22nd. Admission is free from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets to the event are available at all Austin-area Twin Liquors locations for a $5 donation.

“Medfest is one of my favorite events of the year, and one that is very close to my heart because of our family heritage,” Twin Liquors president David Jabour said in a release. “With food, wine, cocktails, music and dancing, it’s a true celebration and we’re thrilled to lend our support for such a long-standing tradition.”

This handout photo from St. Elias Church shows the early food work that went into the annual Mediterranean Festival that is now in its 86th year. Contributed by St. Elias

 

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