All around The Square in Athens this week are signs that one of the state's most unique festivals will soon be here.
The blue and white flags that have become synonymous with the Athens Grease Festival are now flapping in the breeze. The event, presented by Athens Main Street and sponsored by Regions Bank, will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
From a distance, the flags bear a striking resemblance to Greece's state flag. Instead of the cross in the upper left-hand corner, the Grease Festival flags feature a crossed fork and chicken leg.
The flags also herald the fact Mayor Ronnie Marks has proclaimed this to be Greek Week in Athens. The proclamation explains the week is not only meant to celebrate fried food and Athens Grease Festival, but also Greek origin of the city's name.
“Thank you to Mayor Marks for proclaiming this week Greek Week in Athens,” said Tere Richardson, director of Athens Main Street. “This is such a great way to highlight our upcoming Athens Grease Festival and to celebrate all things fried.”
In addition to a wide variety of food vendors, this year's event will also feature beer and wine sales for the first time. Other activities include live music, contests, crafts booths and a Kids Zone.
A Fan Zone with two large-screen televisions will also be set up so SEC football fans don't have to miss any of Saturday's games.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, but those dressed in a toga will receive $1 off admission. Children under 2 will be admitted free.
Proceeds benefit Athens Main Street, which supports downtown revitalization efforts. Visit www.facebook.com/AthensGreaseFestival for more information.