By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The 47th Annual Greek Folk Festival is in full swing with traditional food, music and crafts.

The festival is the biggest Greek festival in Maryland.

It kicked off Thursday and more than 15,000 visitors are expected during the four-day celebration.

Visitors embrace Baltimore’s rich Greek heritage by encouraging guests to indulge in the finest Greek cuisine and learn about their deep-rooted traditions.

“We Greeks are very proud of our heritage and culture,” said Father Michael Pastrikos, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

“We came for the food actually,” Deneen Ziegler said.

“It’s a nice atmosphere, the music is lovely the people,” Kristy Parlis said.

“Excitement can’t wait for every year to happen,” said John Korologos, the Greek festival co-chair.

“You got the locals cooking, the local bands, the dance groups so really this is as close as you can get to visiting Greece this summer,” said Spiro Alafassos, Greek festival chairman.

The St. Nicholas community is inviting everyone to take part in the family gathering.

“We should do this more often, sharing, because this is a melting pot here in America,” said Father Pastrikos.

“That’s what people take away, the warmth of Greeks and they love to host and have parties,” Alafassos said.

All proceeds from the festival will benefit the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and continues through Sunday.

The Greek festival starts at noon each day and ends at 11 p.m.

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