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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Children perform a traditional dance with live music Saturday at Greek Fest at Headwaters Park.

  • Bayden Lee squeezes a lemon on a traditional Greek dish known as Saganaki.

  • Aubree Krider enjoys an inflatable water slide during her time at Greek Fest on Saturday.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Greekfest features live music amongst food and other activities Saturday afternoon in Headwaters park.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:00 am

Rain falls, but Greek Fest fun continues

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Rainy, dreary weather affected turnout for this year's Greek Fest, but organizer Frank Makridakis was still busy Saturday morning.

He moved quickly from an area where workers were assembling gyros to other areas at Headwaters Park where volunteers had gathered to help with the annual event. In a brief moment before flitting off to help someone else, he said fewer people had come through the gates this year.

Greek Fest last year drew about 16,000 visitors, Makridakis said.

“We're down 25 percent, at least,” he said.

More than 2 inches of rain fell in Fort Wayne on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service, and it kept some away from one of the city's signature summer celebrations. The rain led organizers to re-draw the course for the Greek Fest Olympic 5K on Saturday, making the race about 5 meters longer.

Still, festivalgoers began lining up for food and desserts including baklava shortly after Greek Fest opened at 11 a.m.

“I told 'em, we're under the big tent,” Makridakis said. “We're going to have a party.”

It's a party that's been held for 38 years, and one that Makridakis has been running for five years.

“I'm biased, I guess, but it's the best festival of the year,” he said.

Jadie Page, her fiancé, Brian Delgadillo, and their children Bastian, 1, and Jaycob, 8, were experiencing it for the first time. They moved from California to Fort Wayne recently and wanted to see what the city has to offer.

Jaycob said he was looking forward to playing in a bounce house, which hadn't yet been inflated.

“This is our first weekend here,” Page said.

“We just wanted to check things out,” Delgadillo said.

Ann Kennel attended one Greek Fest, but she brought her husband, Wayne, this year.

“The food,” Wayne said when asked why he chose to attend. “I like Greek food, so I thought this would be a good place to get some good Greek food.”

The festival wraps up today at Headwaters Park. It opens at 11 a.m. 

mleblanc@jg.net