38 years ago, Theo and Stacy Skartsiaris decided to host a night of food and entertainment at their fine dining restaurant, Dionysos . The couple emigrated from Greece in the sixties and wanted others to be able to appreciate and understand their culture.
"Kalamazoo is changing very much - but 1973 to 80's, people were not willing to try different foods. We were the first ones to decide to bring our Greek culture to Kalamazoo - with Greek food, Greek music, dancing and everything, and Kalamazoo embraced our Greek culture very well," says Mrs. Skartsiaris, who is the proprietor of the family's Theo & Stacy's restaurants.
"We started to have a Greek night in the basement of Dionysos, but the basement was small," says Mrs. Skartsiaris.
"So we decide 'Let's do it outside in the back of the parking lot.' At that time, Kalamazoo didn't have any festivals, not at all-none. A lot of people thought Theo - my husband - was crazy - and he was crazy," she says with a laugh.