Here's a lot of eating to do before the sun crosses the celestial equator. While you may be tempted to head to the orchard to hoard the season's treasures, a number of churches and community organizations hope you'll let them cook for you. Olympics fanatics who couldn't travel to Athens for this year's historic games can get a taste of Hellenic cuisine at the 31st Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (4011 N. Pennsylvania St., 722-6622), this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11. Enjoy everything from spit-roasted lamb and fried calamari to buttery pastries and Greek wines.
For tops in spicy street food, you can't beat Fiesta Indianapolis, where the spirit is high and the salsa, both culinary and choreographed, is not for the timid. Running a full 12 hours from noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 18, on the American Legion Mall downtown, this festival is sure to keep feet happy and stomachs satisfied.
Corned beef and cabbage aren't merely for St. Patty's Day. The Ancient Order of the Hibernians and Dearly Yours Irish Soup are among vendors counting on locals to sample their Celtic culinary creations at the annual Irish Fest, Sept. 17-19, at Military Park. For info: 713-7117.
You don't have to speak Coptic or hail from the Nile to enjoy the Taste of Egypt, Sept. 17-18 at St. Mary & St. Mark Orthodox Church (800 E. 110 St., 566-0111). Take a tour of the church with a presentation on this ancient religion before diving into delicious Egyptian specialties, cakes and coffees.
In the "Only in Indiana" category, no festival is more "Hoosier" than the Persimmon Festival in Mitchell, running a whopping eight days from Sept. 18-25, culminating with a persimmon pudding baking contest. Nightly dinners offer such favorites as ham and beans, but you're not from Indiana if you don't sample sweet puckery persimmons. Call (800) 580-1985 for info. - Terry Kirts