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Annual Greek event brings 'us all together'
Greek WEB 1
Patricia Johnson joins in a traditional dance Saturday during the 2011 Cumming Greek Festival. - photo by Autumn Vetter

From the food to the dancing to the music, it was all Greek for festival-goers.

The seventh annual Cumming Greek Festival drew crowds to the Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Greek Orthodox Church on Saturday and Sunday to experience the culture.

The festive atmosphere is something the Greeks love to provide, said church member Tina Vamvakias.

“It’s in our blood. We love to share our heritage with everyone,” she said. “The food, the music and everything bring us all together.”

Selling her handmade pottery at the event, Vamvakias said she’d seen a lot of people stop by the Bethelview Road church to enjoy the festivities.

Live music and traditional Greek dancing took center stage, as folks enjoyed gyros, baklava and shopping.

Amy Leurart browsed through the wares with her children, who showed off big smiles.

“We’ve lived in the area for years, and every year we’ve wanted to check it out,” Leurart said.

Heading toward the pastries booth, Belinda Lovin said the Greek food was a big draw.

Waiting in line for a baklava sundae, Katie Moraitakis said the dessert is one of her favorite features of the festival.

Moraitakis, who is half Greek, said she enjoys experiencing the cultural offerings.

Sharing those traditions with the community means a lot to the church members, said Angie Roberts, who volunteered at the Kafenion serving coffee.

People sometimes have notions about the Greeks based on TV and movies, such as “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Roberts said. “Here, they get to experience the culture firsthand.”