SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (06/14/19) - From the entertainment to the food guests can experience a taste of Greece this weekend in Saginaw Township.
Now in it's 41st year, Saginaw's Greek Festival is taking place at the corner of Mackinaw Road and McCarty Road on the grounds of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
Last year the non-profit organization that runs the event was able to give back to the church, as well as about 20 other organizations.
"So if you need another excuse to buy a gyro, there you go, your money is going right back into your community," said David Nichols, chair of the festival.
Yolanda Mendoza of Saginaw comes back year after year. "The food and the entertainment. The people, the people are really nice," she said.
Mendoza's favorites are the baklava and gyro.
"The best seller is the gyro. We sold 10,000 of them last year, I'd like to do that again," Nichols said.
And while Nichols' generation has started to take the reigns at the festival in recent years, some things never change. "Lot of the foods we eat here actually come from the old country. So immigrants who came here, they brought their recipes to festival and we make sure we keep those recipes," he said.
The festival is designed for the whole family.
Tours of the church are offered, plus there's food, entertainment, a beer tent, and a free kids zone.
"We have inflatables for the kids, we have face painting for the kids. Tomorrow we're bringing the fire truck for them, state trooper humvee, all kinds of stuff," Nichols said.
There is a charged for adult admission, but children 12 and under are free.
Festival organizers are facing a parking challenge this year.
The normal parking area is a soggy mess, so they're asking people to park at designated lots nearby. They include Valley Lutheran High School or the soccer complex on McCarty.
From those locations guests can walk to the festival grounds or utilize a shuttle.
"It was pretty easy, yeah. He picked us up over there and brought us over here to the entrance," Mendoza said.
Click on the 'Related Link' with this story to see the festival's schedule. It runs through Sunday.