Every year since 1990, St. Seraphim Orthodox Church on Mountain View Road in Santa Rosa has drawn hundreds of ethnic food enthusiasts to its hallowed grounds for Glendi, a multicultural food and music extravaganza. But this year a multitude of factors has combined to force the cancellation of the festival.
There will be no latkas, dolmas, baklava or Balkan folk dancing this year. And there will be no children making the discovery that weird-looking gloopy stuff from another country actually tastes good, or finding out that not all music includes half-naked, died-haired woman singing in autotune—at least not at St. Seraphim.
Why, you ask? Construction of a Parish Hall and storage area has been considered for quite some time by church leaders, and last year it was decided to take on the project. But an extended rainy season and “many levels of bureaucracy conceived to keep us all safe and healthy in this modern world,” according to the church, delayed the project. The concrete had not even cured until Independence Day.
A letter of explanation[.pdf] posted on the church’s website almost feels like it has tears leaking out. Words like “disappointment” and “sad realization” combined with “bureaucracy” and “construction” pepper the one-page announcement.
But never fear, for the party will go on: Glendi will return in September 2012 as “the Best Glendi Ever,” says the church.—Nicolas Grizzle