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Saginaw’s Greek Festival returns in-person for first time since 2019

Friday marked the return of Saginaw Township's annual Greek Festival.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:20 PM EDT
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SAGINAW TWP., Mich. (WNEM) - Friday marked the return of Saginaw’s annual Greek Festival.

For the last two years, the event shifted to a drive-up food because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The last couple of years it was just the drive through and came over and was disappointed that I couldn’t get my Ouzo,” said Saginaw Township resident Kitty Bukowski.

This year, the festival is back in person.

“We’ve been coming to Greek Fest since before she was born, my husband and I. So, we’re very excited that we can actually come back and celebrate,” said Saginaw Township resident Carrie Keborkian.

During the pandemic there was no live music, dancing, or beer tent.

“Going with the drive through was tough, but it was better than not having anything at all. So, it was worth it for us as well as the community,” said Greek Festival President George Zaharopoulos.

Zaharopoulos said there is nothing like going back to normal.

“The late nights, the phone calls, the emergencies, to have this event, I mean I would do it all over again many times over,” Zaharopoulos said.

One of those emergencies happened Thursday morning.

“The wind blew down three of our tents and crushed some of our tables and chairs. It was just all hands-on deck coming here and figuring out what we could do to salvage everything,” Zaharopoulos said

They did salvage everything and Zaharopoulos said they are prepared for tens of thousands of attendees coming to enjoy traditions of Greek culture. Including gyros, calamari, music, and dancing.

“It’s been so fun that people can be back and the community, because this is a big part of our community,” Keborkian said.

The festival runs at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church from noon to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Admission is $3 after 4:00 pm and free for kids under 12.