CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Thursday starts the first day of Charlotte’s 39th Annual Yiasou Greek Festival that brings in 30,000 people every year. For some, it’s a fair full of rides. For others, it’s a reminder of their home country.
“It makes you cry,” Tom Koufaliotis said. “It’s like old country. You know where ever you go it’s not like the country you came from, but still you know we try to keep it up.”
Koufaliotis told FOX 46 Charlotte he has volunteered at the festival every year expect for one, when he still lived in Greece. Since he moved to Charlotte the festival has become a family event he looks forward to every year.
“See friends, see grandkids dancing, get the culture from the food and everything else,” Koufaliotis said.
There’s ancient Greek artifacts for history buffs, raffles to win a trip to Greece, and vendor loaded with lots of food. Fifty tubs of donut dough are made each day at the festival.
“It gives people a look into what Greek people are,” Kleto said. “Loud, happy, friendly, outgoing people.”
Kleto told FOX 46 Charlotte the four day festival is a way to bring a piece of Greek culture to the Queen City. It runs September 8 to September 11 at Holy Trinity Church in Dilworth.
The Church is still being renovated but the festival debuts the new courtyard.
“You can go get a cup of coffee, have some pastries, and that’s kind of what people do in Greece,” Kleto said. “They eat, they hang out, they enjoy time together, so it is a little piece of Greece here.”