Take a trip to Greece without leaving the Garden State this weekend when you visit NJ Greek Fest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield. The annual three-day outdoor festival kicked off Friday night with music, games and a piles of freshly made Greek food.

Volunteer Debra Vlahakis, who was serving loukoumades (warm doughnuts with honey syrup) with her friend Linda Livolsi, said that church members of all ages pitch in to make the event a success, from the youth busing tables to seniors serving as cashiers.

“We’re proud to share our Greek heritage and enjoy each other’s fellowship at the same time,” Vlahakis said.

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If some of the dishes taste like a Greek grandma made them, that’s because there’s a good chance one did — volunteer members of the church man the kitchen.

Don't miss the the meze (appetizer) combo featuring stuffed grape leaves, dips, meatballs, olives, cheese and savory pastries. Other choices include calamari salad, lamb shanks served with orzo, roast lemon chicken with potatoes and pastitsio (layers of pasta and ground beef topped with bechamel).

In the mood for street food? Don’t miss the gyros (pronounced “yee-ros”), falafel, grilled marinated souvlakia (skewers of pork or chicken) and seasoned Greek fries.

For dessert, there are traditional cookies and pastries, baklava sundaes, warm little doughnuts and freshly made crepes with ice cream.

Wash it all down with beverages including Greek coffee, beer, wine and soft drinks. A wine tasting is planned Saturday night.

The festival also features traditional dancing, live music, carnival games and vendors with Greek merchandise.

If you go:

NJ Greek Fest is held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 250 Gallows Hill Road, in Westfield, NJ. Hours this weekend are Saturday, June 1, from noon until 11 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, from noon until 3 p.m.

A potion of proceeds from the festival help support the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Westfield PBA #90/90A.

For more information, visit www.NJGreekFest.com.

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