MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Greek Fest is back in Mobile for the weekend. Festivities kicked off Thursday with lines forming as soon as doors opened at 11 a.m. at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

“It’s something you put your heart into,” Outside food chairman, Chris Coumanis said.

Greek Fest originated in 1962, and since then has grown bigger every year. This year they expect around 12,000 guests to come.

“We have 5,000 chicken quarters, 1000 lbs of lamb shanks, 9,000 meatballs, 9,000 portions of pastiche, which is a Greek lasagna and rice and beans,” Chairman of food operation, Dale Greestein said.

All proceeds go back into the Greek Orthodox church for expenses like rebuilding the church.

This event typically brings in anywhere between $400,000 to $600,000 a year depending on the weather and turnout.

“After Greek fest within a couple of months we’re already preparing for the next year,” Coumanis said.

Greek Fest is open to the public and has food that meets all desires.

“The chicken souvlaki is a relatively southern invention that we put together because everyone likes chicken so much in this area,” Coumanis said.

Mobilians who attended said that this is an event they look forward to every year.

“I think that’s one of the beauties of this, I don’t think that mobile appreciates all of our international communities and to be here to experience their authentic food, their authentic menus,” a Greek Fest guest said.

The event is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.