Dancing, gyros and other aspects of Greek culture are being celebrated during the Grecian Festival in Center Wheeling, which got off to a warm and spirited start Thursday.
"Historically, there was a Sunday dinner. This festival took it to the next level," said Gus Kayafas, one of the festival's organizers who said this is the 12th year for the event. "It is a great celebration of both Greek food and Greek art."
The festival takes place in both the open air of Chapline Street, as well as the interior of St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church, 2215 Chapline St., Wheeling. Kayafas said many Greek churches across the nation hold similar festivals throughout the year.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Agape Dancers entertain the crowd Thursday during the Grecian Festival in Center Wheeling.
Kayafas' wife, Maria Kayafas, is the director of the Agape Dancers, which entertains the crowd gathered along Chapline Street during the festival.
"Kids dance from age 3 all the way up to college," she said. "It is very much a part of our culture."
Maria Kayafas said the dancers will also be performing at Centre Market at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. today, as the festival works with the market to bring quality entertainment to the city.
"We hope people come out to enjoy the food and the fun," Gus Kayafas added.
The Grecian Festival runs again from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The Agape Dancers are slated to perform at 6 p.m. today and Saturday at the church.