I am entirely excited for Autumn! As we draw close to the beginning of October I can feel the nights in Tucson cooling and there is a different scent to the air; a crisp fragrance that promises the coming of pumpkins and cinnamon and apple cider. Fall has always been my favorite time of year.
It is true that Tucson does not undergo the same dramatic transformation as many places in the north and northeastern parts of the states. We do not have swirling tunnels of golden leaves dancing in the winds as you ride down the road. We do not have misty fields of wheat with damp breezes blowing across tiny stars of early morning frost. Yet, we DO have our own experience of this magical time of year.
(A Golden Evening in October in the Sonoran Desert)
It’s no secret that Summer in Tucson is HOT! It can often stay in the triple digits for three to four months. It’s no wonder then, that as soon as we start seeing what would be considered a balmy summer day in many other places in America, namely temperatures in the mid seventies, Tucsonans jump at the chance to start unpacking scarves and sweaters. We may not wear them quite yet, but we can lovingly hang them in our closets in anticipation of the slightly chilly desert nights we know are on their way.
With the month of October we will explore some of the magical offerings Tucson has for residents and visitors alike. Starting next week we will be dedicating a whole month to all things Autumn in the Old Pueblo, including:
Autumn Recipes with a local flair, like Pumpkin Empanadas
A trip to Buckelew Farms pumpkin patch
Old Tucson Studio’s Nightfall and Tombstone’s Helldorado Days
Reid Park Zoo’s Family Friendly Howl-O-Ween
and some fall crafts you can easily do in the desert; no leaves needed.
So make sure you stay tuned for a bountiful harvest of ideas and experiences to welcome some seasonal sensation to the Sonoran Desert.
This week we will be talking about what is often a flagship event to many Tucsonans, that kicks things off for enjoying the end of summer – The Greek Festival.
The Greek festival is in it’s 37th!! year. Held annually at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, which is located in the heart of central Tucson at Ft. Lowell and Campbell Avenue, this event runs four days (Thursday through Sunday) and offers a plethora of activities.
One of the largest draws is the amazing Greek cuisine including the classic Gyro. You will also be treated to authentic dishes such as roasted lamb, Athenian chicken, Spanakopata, Dolmes, baklava and more!
If you want to learn how to eat Greek at home there are cooking demonstrations held at various times throughout every day of the festival.
You can also learn about Greek culture and history with a series of lectures and enjoy live performances of traditional Greek dance on the events main stage.
After some performances there are beginner class sessions offered for those wishing to learn some of the basic steps.
I have gone to the event almost every year I have lived in Tucson and I am never disappointed with the fare.
Some of the highlights for me are the strong, hot, and delicious Greek coffee brewed up in the traditional Jezve (a turkish style coffee pot), the flaming Saganaki (a Greek cheese that is fried to gooey, crispy perfection by lighting it on fire with a giant torch like flame) and the eclectic traditional Greek wares you can shop – from jewelry to home items.
(Flaming Cheese at Tucson’s Greek Festival)
This year the festival starts Thursday, September 25th and runs through Sunday, September 28th.
Did I mention that at only $3.00 for admission or only $5.00 for a four day pass, it is extremely affordable to attend?
To learn more about where to stay while visiting Tucson or more about the Greek Festival click on the links below.
and in anticipation of our October blog series I would like to leave you with the below quote from Author Ray Bradbury’s book October Country:
“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”