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This year's Greek Festival and the Ashland Strawberry Faire

Tastemakers

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If your knowledge of Greek dining begins and ends with feta cheese and olives on a bed of lettuce, you are in for a big surprise at this year's Greek Festival of food and culture at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Sure, there'll be Greek salad aplenty at this annual event, in its 24th year. But you might not have room after liberally sampling the moussaka, the souvlaki and the gyro sandwiches. And you haven't yet factored in the dessert — that list only begins with creamy custards, buttery cookies and three-layer Grecian cake. Avoid total food coma by participating in the entertainment — hourly sanctuary tours, an icon exhibit and Greek folk dancers. The Greek Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 1-4 at 30 Malvern Ave. Call 355-3687 for hours and directions. www.greekfestival.com

Expect big crowds, as many as 20,000 people, at the huge Ashland Strawberry Faire this weekend.

Don't worry about going hungry — whether you're in need of hotdogs or international cuisine, the Strawberry Faire will provide. The emphasis, of course, is on the mouth-watering strawberry, with everything from freshly whipped smoothies to mounds of strawberry shortcake. The yearly event is also known for the arts, crafts and antiques shows, with close to 200 vendors showing off their paintings, ceramics and stained-glass work, as well as cooking demonstrations. Local choral groups, jazz artists, gospel singers and rock bands supply the entertainment. Strawberries take over the Randolph-Macon College campus 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Free. 752-6766.

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