For 25 years, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church has been bringing the sights, sounds and taste of Greece to the Weirton community with its annual festival.
This year will be no different, as the event prepares to open Thursday with plans for a variety of food, entertainment and other attractions certain to bring in a large crowd.
The annual festival is a true community event, celebrating a portion of Weirton's past and present, while looking toward the future. Along with the delicious food, such as spanakopita, moussaka, grape leaves and loukoumathes, there will be tours of the church and a few new additions.
The members of the All Saints congregation deserve a big thanks for always going the extra mile to put on this event. This year, in particular, that work should be recognized. Following a storm in late June, festival organizers learned much of the food would have to be remade in order to be ready for this year's event. They rallied together, receiving some help from friends in Steubenville, to make sure everything would be ready for this weekend.
The festival has been known to draw approximately 3,000 people to the church grounds on West Street each year to enjoy the festivities with a variety of local music and Greek dancing by the church's two youth dancing groups. We hope that is no different this year.
A new feature being introduced is the marketplace where visitors may purchase T-shirts, jewelry, candles and other items inspired by Greek culture.
In addition, we should remember this festival -while looked forward to by much of the Weirton area for its food and fun - serves as a fundraiser for the church, providing about 30 percent of its annual budget.
We encourage all area residents to take some time this week and check out the festival and take in some local culture. Take a tour of the church, listen to some music or watch some dancing and, most of all, enjoy the atmosphere.
No matter where you live, or what your background may be, everyone has a chance to be Greek this time of year.