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A look back at Norfolk's Greek Festivals of yesteryear

The Norfolk Greek Festival returns in person in 2022 after a two-year break. We have archive footage of what this event looked like in the 80s.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Norfolk Greek Festival returns in-person in 2022 after a two-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event — at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 7220 Granby Street — is one of the area's oldest and largest ethnic festivals.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” said church president John Katsias. “I can’t wait to share our heritage with the Hampton Roads community.”

Along with the mouth-watering food, the festival will also have arts and crafts, beautiful jewelry and tours of the cathedral.

It’s a tradition with roots dating back to the 1950s, but it became the four-day event we know today back in the mid-1980s.

RELATED: Newport News 2020 Greek Festival turning to drive-through event this weekend

It’s not just a time to eat like a Greek, or dance Greek… but to be Greek. Inclusivity is what the culture is all about.

“I’m so proud to be a Greek American,” said Katsias. “The love we show to each other and our visitors, we are very passionate about it.”

Drive-thru food events during the pandemic kept our bellies happy over the last two years.

Back in person, lamb shank, spanakopita and baklava will once again be front and center.

But it’s the return of that warm, "everyone’s family" atmosphere that’ll keep our hearts full, too.

Greek Festival is free and open to the public.

The festival begins Thursday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., then goes Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

RELATED: Food and fun at Newport News Greek Festival

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