AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Augusta Greek Festival is making its big return at Holy Trinity Church this week after two years of drive-through celebrations.

Festival goers say the festival’s main attraction is the food. The line for food wrapped around the vender tent Friday.

“I’m cooking up the gyro meat for the festival. Trying to keep up with the demand. It gets pretty busy right about now. We’re definitely feeling the heat but we’re going to be alright, we’re going to make it,” John Emery said.

Vendors from near and far offer everything from handmade gifts, to soaps to jewelry.

“We are out here selling things that we made. We’re from Edgefield, South Carolina. I make bath products, soaps, lotions. We have jams, jellies, honeys,” Rhonda Nowicki said.

Nowicki is no stranger to the festival. She and her daughters have been vendors for years, but COVID kept them away until now.

“We’re so glad to have everybody back together. It’s kind of like a small family that we haven’t seen each other for two years,” Nowicki said.

And she’s not the only one happy to see the festival back the way it used to be.

“It sort of cleanses your soul so to speak, makes you feel like a human being again,” John Templeton said.

For the past two years, the celebration was drive-through only because of the pandemic.

“During COVID they had a drive through for the food and they had lines of cars, but now they can come in person and it’s really nice,” Persida Stultz said.

“I enjoy seeing the faces of the people as they’re coming up getting their food and enjoying it. Before coming by in the cars, it was a lot less personable,” Emery said.

Everyone has their pick for what makes the festival so special.

“I haven’t tried the food yet, that’s why I came out. I’m surprised to see all the really cool handmade stuff, and I just bought this kimono,” Stultz said.

“The food is great. I love the dancers. Taste of Athens that come and perform here every year, they’re unbelievable. It’s just a great atmosphere,” Templeton said.

The festival will go on until 9 p.m. Friday, and through the weekend.

If you can’t make it out, you can still order the festival food from Augusta To-Go.