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      Prepping for the Charleston Greek Festival

      Greek Festival desserts (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

      By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Gyros, Greek chicken and baklava are just some of the delicious treats that you will be able to taste at the Charleston Greek Festival this weekend.

      The park beside Holy Trinity Church in downtown Charleston was fairly empty on Thursday, but is expected to be crowded with people Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

      "We start cooking lamb today, on Thursday, and then starting tomorrow it's chicken, lamb, gyro, Greek burgers, hot dogs, you name it we'll have it," said Doug Wells with the Greek Festival.

      And for those who love desserts, don't worrythe women of the church have been baking for months.

      "We started off with the twisted cookies then there are some frozen things that aren't even out here yet like a spinach pie that is made with feta cheese and filo and then there are the stuffed grapevine leaves that you can buy at different food stores around, but they aren't as good as ours," said Katherine Theos, one of the many bakers for the Greek Festival.

      And these women have plenty of experience baking sweets.

      "We learned to bake from our mother, our mother-in-laws," said Theos. "I learned most of my baking from my mother-in-law for the Greek pastries, and some of the older women in the church and they passed on their recipes to us."

      But the festival is more than just food.

      "The church tours, there is a cultural room, and the dancing, which we encourage people to get involved with dance," said Tom Meletis, Greek Festival chairman. "They will be able to watch the young dancers perform, so there is plenty that is going on."

      Parking will be limited, but there is an excellent alternative.

      "Across from Joe Riley ballpark, the huge parking lot, we shuttle from there every 12 minutes," said Meletis. "The turnaround is very timely and the shuttle is free, so it's the best way to get here."

      The festival will run Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and then on Sunday from noon until 6 p.m.

      Admission is only $3 for adults, but $1 for students and seniors. Mothers get in for free on Mother's Day and active military can get in free all weekend.

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