Glendi has taken place on the third weekend of September for 26 years. Celebrating cultural diversity, the parishioners of Saint Seraphim church set up booths that serve a wide variety of European foods, from Greek to Balkan and Russian to Italian. This is to celebrate the origins of all Orthodox Americans who arrived to Sonoma County and formed their bonds there.
Festival participants arrive with their plastic bins to take baked goods home. They listen to the Balkan band EDESSA, watch the folk dancers, attend a church tour that shows off the handmade iconography, and even listen to the choir sing in candlelight. For most first-timers, they have never seen true Orthodox icons, heard that music, or tasted that food. It’s an out-of-body experience. After several years, some attendees eventually become parishioners of the church.
A sample menu from Glendi, categorized by ethnicity. The hand-drawn illustrations at the bottom emphasize the homemade quality of the festival.