GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s a taste of Greece in Grand Rapids this weekend at the 12th annual Grand Rapids Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival.

Hundreds of people attended the event Friday at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Large lines of people waited to get their hands on lamb shanks, souvlaki, gyros, baklava ice cream and more traditional Greek food. While they waited, they were able to see cooking demonstrations and traditional Greek dances. 

“The reason I keep coming back every year is because it’s just fun and I think people should because it’s fun. Especially in the evening time when we all dance and we try to teach everyone dances and we have performances. It’s just so fun, there’s just something about this festival,” Marina Monoyios, a festival worker, said. 

Organizers said the word “yassou” means welcome and that this event is a celebration of the Grand Rapids’ Greek community. 

“It’s hard to get to Greece because it’s so far away. So we’re bringing it here to Grand Rapids and the people in Grand Rapids have supported, now again in our 12th year, and we’re so grateful that year after year after year, they have come to support us and for us to show them what it’s all about,” Vasiliki Christopoulos, one of the organizers of the event and a Greek dance teacher, said. 

The festival raised money for the church and two local charities, be nice. and the AYA Youth Collective. The last day of the festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission costs $3 and anyone 12 and under gets in for free.