Greek Festival - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Greek Festival

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Good food, dancing and just lots of fun. That's what thousands of people joined in on this weekend.

One of the oldest Greek communities in the country shared its traditions. Tony Petelos says "This church at this site has been here for over 100 years." And forty years ago, Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral started a Greek festival.

Church member Helen Bkrakis says "We started off in a small area in our old building and then after a few years we went to a tent across the street."

It's grown quite a bit since then, Rena Mcdonald wouldn't miss it. "It goes back to my father, it's kind of like an institution to come every single year." Jefferson County Manger Tony Petelos, a cook this weekend, gave back in support of his heritage. "Both my mom and dad are immigrants from Greece. I have three brothers and sisters that were born in Greece. I was born here in Birmingham. we've been members of this church for all our lives."

Church parishioners made all the food.. everything from marinated lamb to Greek pasta. Onto the desserts, Baklava is the favorite. In fact, they made 80-thousand pastries. You might can guess, food a big deal for Greek families.

Bkrakis says "You don't come into a Greek home without, you have to partake of something, whether it's a meal or a sweet. People could order take out, enjoy music and dancing and even stroll through a market place. Most of the proceeds go back into the Greek community, some of the funds are shared with charities. McDonald says "It draws everyone together and there's so much love involved."

More than 30-thousand people attended last year and organizers believe attendance was larger this year.

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