PHARR – The International Festival, the yearly event at the St. George's Orthodox Church will take place Saturday Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Located at 704 W. Sam Houston, the festival will included favorites like Greek layered pastitcio, spanakopita, grilled souvlaki and stuffed grape leaves. On the Russian side of the gastronomic globe, festival attendees will try cabbage rolls, pirogies or hot blini. There will also be Ukrainian honey cake.

“You won’t find anything like this Festival here in the Valley,” shares Judie Geil, long-time Parishioner of St. George’s. “Even though I now live in Houston, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Geil’s special German beirocks and strudel are already made up and ready to sell.

A fun, educational outing for the entire family, the Festival offers free entry, parking, children’s activities and a wide variety of entertainment. There’s always something for everyone to see, hear and do. Activities and information will be offered by the Museum of South Texas History, IMAS, the McAllen Public Library, Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Master Gardeners, UTRGV CHAPS, the Lambs Loom, Gem Valley Farmers Market, Milkweed & Monarchs and more. “Two by Two Petting Zoo” will be available for children from 10 a.m. – noon.

The year’s entertainment schedule includes the wonderful UTRGV Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, playing holiday favorites, as well as the much-beloved Mariachi Nueva Tradicion. The children’s mariachi and conjunto groups from Creative Arts Studio will join the day’s performances, as well as members of the colibrí children’s choir. Find the exciting entertainment and activity schedule at:

Come early and spend the day. Begin the morning with freshly baked scones and muffins. Sit and watch the performances while sipping a cup of Russian tea, Greek or Mexican coffee with special baked goods from the Russian Tea Shoppe. Handicapped drop-off and entry access available.

One purpose for the festival is to collect food and funds for St. George Food Pantry, which serves over 100 families twice a month. Receive a homemade cookie as a thank you when you contribute to our “Give a Can; Get a Cookie” campaign. The following items will be accepted during the festival: monetary donations, canned goods, non-perishables food items, new or lightly used blankets, coats, children’s clothing or toys, for special Christmas distribution.