By PETE FONTAINE
Which the proud parishioners at Church of the Annunciation in Cranston will tell you means “Friends of the Poor!”
That’s especially true for the Greek Orthodox Parish’s Good Smartian Ladies Society that ranks among the largest and most successful fundraising groups in the state.
Yet another example of the non-profit’s fundraising prowess will unveil itself this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5, when the Philoptochos host their ageless Christmas Bazaar and Food Fair inside the parish’s Rev. Peter G. Mihailides Center located at 175 Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston.
People who enjoyed Annunciation’s well known Cranston Greek Festival in September will be able to enjoy the same food and pastries inside Demetrakas Hall that the Philoptochos Society will be turning into a winter wonderland this weekend.
Bazaar chairladies Georgia Pappas and Elizabeth Degaitas, who ae both life-long members at the parish, said there will be no admission and plenty of parking, and “we look forward to welcoming everyone this weekend.”
The bazaar and food fair will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“All proceeds from the bazaar will help support charities such as the American Cancer Society, Amos House Bradley Hospital, Arthritis Foundation, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Interfaith Food Ministries,” the long-time volunteer co-chairs explained. “We also help families in need.”
The 2023 event will offer Festive Gift Basket offering an array of theme gifts with values ranging from $50 to $100 that will be part of a unique raffle along with a special Christmas Card Gift Raffle with cards valued between $25 and $100.
People will also be able to purchase Vintage Treasures such as tablecloths, dishes, vases and other antique items. The 2023 event will also feature fine and costume jewelry from necklaces to bracelets to earrings.
If you’re looking for special Christmas decorations, there will be beautiful ornaments, stockings and a variety of holiday decorations.
In keeping with tradition, the same Greek food and pastry that has become a trademark of the Cranston Greek Festival will be available Saturday and Sunday.
In fact, Annunciation’s famous “Baking Brigade” has been busy preparing pastries like Baklava, Kouroulakia, Diples, Spanakopita, Kourambiedes and Rice Pudding all of which are sure to be in high demand.
The always-popular Gyros are just one of many food items that will range from Stifatho (onions and beef), Roast Lamb, Pastitsio (Greek baked macaroni), Souvlaki, stuffed grape leaves and much more this weekend. The Kaffino – a.k.a. Greek Coffee Cafe – will be back as will the Agora Marketplace that will be stocked with Greek teas, coffee and delicacies.
Pappas and Degaitas said “we will also have gifts for the whole family at our Penny Social and we’re bringing back the White Elephant which will have a variety of treasures. Please come and enjoy lunch and/or dinner and perhaps do some early Christmas shopping.”