Peter Yalanis will try to combine 2,500 years of history into 30-minute presentations at this year's Greek Festival.
Yalanis, a professional photographer, will present "All Sides of the Parthenon, A Touring Exhibition" throughout the festival, which is planned for Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 555 N. High St., Columbus.
Among the exhibit are 12 or so photographs taken over a seven-day period in 2007.
"I hope to accomplish a little more understanding on how democracy began and how it parallels the democracy here in America today," Yalanis said.
He said the iconic architecture has served as the inspiration for many government buildings throughout America.
"If you go to any major city in this country, you're going to see a post office or city hall or many courts modeled after the Parthenon. No question about it," he said.
"I was able to capture the Parthenon as the international symbol of democracy and justice."
Yalanis, 66, is vice president of the American Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, an organization that is trying to reclaim original sculptures -- also known as the Parthenon marbles, a collection of Greek marble sculptures -- that were looted by a British peer, Thomas Bruce, the 7th Lord Elgin, in the early 1800s.
Stacey Stathulis, publicity chairman of the Greek Festival, said getting the Yalanis exhibit is a real achievement for the church.
"I think this exhibit is not only interesting but culturally relevant because the Parthenon marbles that are in Britain, people want them returned to Greece," Stathulis said.
The 41st annual Greek Festival will offer many of the same attractions for which it has been known: folk dancing, cultural exhibits, art, clothing and jewelry.
"It's an experience very true to our Hellenic heritage," Stathulis said. "That's what we're really trying to offer, an authentic experience to the people of Columbus."
Tickets are $5 and $4 for seniors, and good for all four days of the festival. Children 12 and younger get in free.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Aug. 30 and 31, noon to midnight Sept. 1 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 2.
Food is a huge draw at the festival.
Inexpensive casual fare -- gyros, souvlaki, Greek-style pizzas, lamb roast and such -- will be offered along the promenade outside the church.
To satisfy the dietary restrictions of many patrons, the festival will feature fish and chips, as well as a meze platter, with olives, feta, hummus, spanikopita and stuffed grape leaves.
A veritable feast will be available inside the church, with dishes such as lamb chops, moussaka, pastitsio, roasted chicken, rice, potatoes, meatballs and pastries.
"This food is all hand-made for the most part and represents hundreds of volunteer hours -- hours spent by unsung heroes of the Greek Festival who do this year after year," Stathulis said.
"The recipes are the same recipes that have been used for decades at the festival and are in the capable hands of people like Nick Soulas Jr., who not only runs the kitchen during the festival weekend, but also prepares the mix for dolmades, spanikopita and tiropita for the volunteers during the prep time."