WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The Grecian Fest kicked off its opening day of the 20th anniversary of the festival on Wednesday.

The Northern Panhandle is home to two large Greek communities. St. John Divine Greek Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Greek churches in West Virginia. They welcome everyone to come out to the enjoy and experience the Greek culture.  

My husband, Gus Kayafas, started this indoor-outdoor festival 18 or more years ago and it’s just been growing and growing. It started as a two-day and continued and now it is a four-day event.

Maria Kayafas, Founder’s Wife 

The volunteers consist of several generations. Each detail of the celebration is planned months in advance. They say it became a tradition for families to come together to share their beliefs and traditions with the Ohio Valley.  

At the festival, you can expect to see authentic food, dancing, costumes, music, and more. Kayafas, said you will get true Greek hospitality while you are there. 

In the youth tent they’re selling loukoumades ,baklava sundaes, and the café Nero.

Maria Kayafas, Founder’s Wife 

The Frappe that they’re making, and selling is one of the most popular forms of coffee in Greece. It is a whipped ice coffee made from water, sugar, instant coffee, and milk.  

Volunteer Ava Frankovich said running the tent is a great way to build relationships and fellowship together.

I love being able to give back to the community and do this just because I enjoy doing it.

Ava Frankovich, Youth Group Member

Frankovich is also an Agape Dancer, and they will be performing in traditional dress each evening starting at 6:00 p.m.

The Grecian Fest continues until Sunday, July 31st