MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Greek Fest kicked off Thursday at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. South Ann Street was crowded on its first day as this is the first year back since the start of the pandemic. The festival has been in the city of Mobile since 1962.

A lot of time and effort goes into preparing for this four-day event, but most of us only get to see the finished product when we sample the traditional Greek dishes.

News 5 got a behind-the-scenes look at how an event like this coordinates feeding hundreds of people.

Nick Tsounis and his daughter make their family’s traditional honey puff donuts from scratch. He said they’ve been prepping since Monday night but as a whole the planning process is much longer.

“I think Greek fest is almost a yearlong preparation,” said Tsounis. “We’re always getting stuff ready and looking at different things and trying to improve our processes and make things more efficient.” 

Sarah Kalaris also helps prepare some of the Greek pastries. She said the planning starts early in the year to make sure everything is ready to go on the week of the festival. 

“Typically, right after Easter we start to prepare, we start to make plans, we get out our recipes out,” said Kalaris. “Starting in early June we start making our Koulourakia, and those are twisted butter cookies, we make them right here, hand-made.”

For People like Chris Stratus getting involved and preparing for the festival started as a young child.

“I started off in probably 1976 taking tickets and then they got me into making the pastries’ and then doing the Greek dancing,” said Stratus.

And it looks like all that hard work has paid off.

The festival will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the festival will be open from noon to 4 p.m. The church is located at 50 S. Ann St. Mobile, AL 36604.

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