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Greek Festival celebrates 40th anniversary

Souvlaki, spanakopita, pastitsio, moussaka - hundreds of people enjoyed a buffet of Greek food - and fun - at the 40th Buffalo Greek Festival this weekend. The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on West Utica Street in Buffalo was the site of festivities for the entire family. It was a chance for Greeks and Greeks-for-a-day to experience the culture and soak up the traditions.

"We opened late, instead of during the day this year," said Festival Chair Jeff Gianiodis. "We had some trouble getting volunteers this year, so we opened at 5 p.m. and in those five or six hours we had, we got about 2,700 people."

In addition to the food, another star of the show was the dance. "We're very proud of our own. We've brought our own kids and developed them from little people," said Gianiodis. 

"We have three levels of dance, the junior goya, the goya and the high school level. We've spent significant amounts of money on native costumes this year, because last year we tried it and they did very well."

Gianiodis said every region of Greece has its own traditions of dance, all represented by different steps and music.  He said the rain dampened attendance a bit, but crowds remained steady throughout the weekend.