St. Symeon Orthodox Church
Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America
3101 Clairmont Avenue S, Birmingham, AL, 35205
Home / Food and Culture Fair

Join us on Saturday, October 12, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for our second annual St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair!


The St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair is our way of sharing our multi-ethnic community with the city of Birmingham and surrounding areas. Come visit our new church building, learn about the iconographic murals being painted in the church, as well as the landmark tile mosaic icon overlooking Clairmont Avenue. While visiting, enjoy a presentation by our internationally acclaimed choir and don’t forget to shop at our one-day-only multi-ethnic marketplace.

Melting Pot Marketplace

Shop for homemade baked goods, unique gifts, original artwork and more, and have your tea time or coffee break with us in the Melting Pot Marketplace at the St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair! For one fun day, we’re transforming our fellowship hall into an Alabama-weather-friendly, indoor, air-conditioned version of a traditional open-air market. Our members have formed four baking teams that loosely align with their diverse ethnic heritages, and each team will feature its homemade baked goods at a decorated booth in the marketplace. In addition to baked goods, the market stalls will offer coffee, tea, and merchandise such as original watercolor artwork, jewelry, scarves, and crafts. The church youth group will be selling Coca-Cola products as well. 
The Marketplace will accept cash as well as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover credit or debit cards (no checks). 

The four market stalls are: The Slavic Tea Room, The Balkan Coffee House, Cafe Europa, and Southern Sweets and Savories. The Slavic Tea Room will feature Slavic specialties including Russian tea, Hungarian kolache cookies, Ukrainian piroshki (fruit-filled, fried buns), jam-filled blini, Russian tea cakes, and Slavic dancer cookies. The Balkan Coffee House will offer Greek and Bulgarian specialties such as baklava and Bulgarian banitsa (both phyllo-dough based pastries), loukoumades (Greek honey puffs) fried on site, Greek coffee made to order, Greek cookies, and a traditional, enriched holiday bread. Parishioners representing European countries from Norway to Italy and Ireland to Latvia are teamed up to offer tea and treats in Cafe Europa, including Madeleines (small French cakes), pizzelles (Italian waffle cookies), Norwegian cardamom buns, shortbread, Dutch cheese crackers, and oreshki (walnut shaped cookies with a dulce de leche filling). Southern Sweets and Savories will offer specialties of the American South, including Mississippi mud brownies, lemon bars, pound cake, cornbread, peach cobblers, pecan pies, sweet tea and lemonade.

The marketplace will also feature books, CDs, and gifts through the church bookstore. Two authors will be available in the marketplace as well: young adult novelist Georgia Briggs will be on hand to autograph copies of her popular book Icon: A Novel, published by Ancient Faith Publishing, and author/photographer Ralph Sidway will be at the fair discussing his work in progress,The North American Thebaid: a photographic pilgrimage to Orthodox Christian monasteries of the United States and Canada.

Church Tours, Sacred Music, Iconography Talk

Church tours will be ongoing throughout the Food and Culture Fair. Also inside the church, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., our choir will give short presentations of sacred music (prefaced by special bell ringing), featuring some favorite music of the Pascha (Easter) season and highlighting the choir’s multi-ethnic repertoire, which is unique in the Southeast. You will not want to miss this opportunity to hear our choir, which is one of the best-loved Orthodox choirs in America and has fans around the world!

Sacred art is an important part of the Orthodox Christian tradition, and at 1 p.m., Protodeacon Ephraim Rivers will give a talk inside the church on the subject, “What is Iconography?” Please join Father Deacon Ephraim for this opportunity to learn about the icons that fill our church, church grounds, and homes.

First Light Toiletries Drive

The St. Symeon Food and Culture Fair is a project of the Sisterhood of the Protection of the Theotokos women’s group at St. Symeon. The Sisterhood also provides ongoing support for First Light: A Center for Homeless Women and Children. At the Food and Culture Fair, we’re hosting a drive for travel size toiletry and personal care items for First Light shelter guests. We invite you to raid your stash of unused hotel toiletries or stock up at the dollar store or drugstore and contribute to this project at the Food and Culture Fair! To learn more about First Light and its programs, visit

Our Social Media

Our social media are full of photos of products we’re selling at the Food and Culture Fair, interesting articles, and other tidbits. We’d be honored if you’d follow us:




The Food & Culture Fair will be a Snapchat Geofilter Zone, and we’d love for you to share photos from the fair social media. Our hashtag is #stsymeonfair19. You can find our press release HERE!

Come, Taste & See!

Ancient Faith Radio