Birmingham church hosts 22nd Lebanese Food Festival, with COVID precautions

The St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church’s 22nd annual Lebanese Food and Cultural Festival on its church near the UAB campus in Birmingham this weekend, with some major changes to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

The festival this year offered only drive-through and take-out food only, with marked drive-through lanes in the parking lot and a temporary parking area for to-go orders. Volunteers working the festival wore masks as they directed traffic and took orders, and taped markers on the ground to show six feet of distance for people waiting in line.

Until 7 p.m. Saturday, fans of one of Birmingham’s long-running food events can order from a limited menu that includes kibbe, rice, meat and spinach pies, green beans and rice. Organizers offered dessert sampler plates, but those were sold out by 1 p.m. Saturday. The church is also holding a silent auction on Facebook, that also ends at 7 p.m.

The church said it would donate some of the proceeds from this year’s festival to the victims of the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon this week that killed at least 158 people and wounded thousands.

The festival normally includes music, dancing, tours of the church and other events that were not offered this year due to the coronavirus. The festival also normally takes place in April, but was delayed this year because of the virus.

The video below is from the 2018 festival.

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