The welcoming atmosphere permeated the whole festival to the point where it felt more like a family reunion than a cultural festival. As organizer Esther Koukios told us, "Everybody is a family." This was very evident in during Katerina Bichay's cooking demonstration where an electric excitement radiated from the crowd which responded to her cooking as a crowd would to a magician - and she seemed to feed off of that energy telling jokes and laughing with the crowd around her. After her demonstration, there was an enthusiastic ovation followed very quickly by a rush to the front for samples of her work.
Throughout the festival, a band performed on stage playing beautiful Greek music on their bouzoukis. As they played, spectators turned into participants as people pulled each other to dance in a circle by the stage. Occasionally, traditional Greek dancers would take over the dance floor and dazzle us with their speed and elegance as they showed off the dances that they spent the last year practicing.