Metro residents celebrate being Greek for a day

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Many came out to “get their Greek on” in Overland Park on Sunday.

It was probably one the liveliest places in the metro over the weekend, but there was a word you had to use to get in. Not quite a password, but "Opa!" was the resounding phrase you could hear popping up all over the Greek Festival at St. Dionysisos Greek Orthodox Church off 95th and Hardy Drive in Overland Park.

You don't have to be Greek to know what the word means.

Volunteer Tori Hirner said, "Everybody gets to be Greek for a day. And we eat and dance and we’re all together and we celebrate so it’s a good time."

She and other volunteers spent hours prepping and handing out homemade Greek food to people from all backgrounds who wanted in on the fun.

"People from all backgrounds and cultures, everybody loves Greek food," said Hirner.

If you could bring yourself away from the sights and smells of the kitchen, there was plenty of Greek tradition outside the church too, lots of dancing and music.

"The older kids are phenomenal. They’ve been practicing since they were this high and they know those dances front and back," said Hirner.

Daniel and Crystal Matthis chose to celebrate their anniversary by going to the Greek Festival and brought their four-month-old, Phoebe, along.

“She loves it. She loves the music. She loves sound, all the noise," Crystal said.

Daniel Matthis spent part of his childhood in Greece and loves the chance to bring that country home to his family.

"Seeing some of the dances and stuff like that, I haven’t really gotten to see a lot of it in a long time. One day we hope to go back to Greece and visit,” he said.

Until then, he said the festival was a great alternative.

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