A taste of Strawberry Days | PostIndependent.com

A taste of Strawberry Days

A chef with the Dionysos Greek Food vendor prepares a gyro for a customer at the Strawberry Days Festival on Friday evening.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Strawberry Days’ food and drink vendors plan to keep the 122-year-old tradition nourished with plenty of hot dishes and sweet beverages all weekend long.

For Diane and Dwight Memmott, Glenwood Springs has remained a favorite stop to serve their, “One and only, original Texas Twister drink.”

“We just go by Texas Twister drink,” Diane Memmott said of the family-run drink booth from East Texas that has rolled into town for the past 21 years. “We’ll have people come up to our booth and they’ll say, ‘It can rain and it can pour but it’s not going to keep me away from getting my Texas Twister drink that I’ve waited for all year.”

The sweet drink has provided an even sweeter opportunity for the married couple to travel to fairs and festivals across the west for over two decades.

Previously, Diane earned a living in the film industry as a hair and makeup artist while her husband Dwight worked as a mortgage banker and real estate broker.

However, the two eventually traded in banking and the limelight for oranges, lemons and limes.

“There’s a lot of work before the curtain goes up and a lot of work when the curtain comes down,” Diane said of her and her husband’s livelihood. “It’s a fun job. It’s fun to travel, but there’s a lot of preparing and cleanup before we go and do an event and a lot after.”

The Texas Twister booth will squeeze out approximately 904 oranges, 920 lemons and 1,050 limes over the course of the weekend.

“It’s just a family environment. The drink is a family-friendly drink and that’s what keeps us coming back there. …It’s a family event and we just love it,” Diane said.

This weekend also marks Alex Ballas’ 31st trip to the Strawberry Days Festival.

The head chef of Dionysos Greek Foods said he learned to prepare a healthy portion of his menu items, such as its Greek salad, from his father who moved to the U.S. from Greece.

“I learned from my father and then went to cooking school and became a chef,” Ballas said. “I followed in his footsteps and it’s been a family passion.”

Ballas looked forward to preparing traditional lamb and beef gyros with a sauce comprised of Greek yogurt, spices, garlic, cucumber and more.

“To me that is the quintessential sandwich that people can have,” Ballas explained.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday night when everyone is having fun, the music is going and I’ve seen all the people that I love to see — my favorite customers. This is Glenwood and it’s a wonderful tradition.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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