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Celebrating 40 Years of Greek Festival Fun
Paniyiri Plays a Huge Part in Greek Culture. Image by Tay O'Keefe.
Opa! It's almost Paniyiri time! Get those taste-buds excited folks because this year's Paniyiri is going to be another delicious celebration of Greek culture, heritage and (you guessed it) cuisine on the 21st and 22nd of May in and around Musgrave Park. In fact, this year's Paniyiri is even more exciting than others, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary in big fat Greek style.
Gobble Up Some Greek Goodies Like These! Image by Tay O'Keefe.
It was a warm, sunny day worthy of the Mediterranean when the 2016 Paniyiri launch event kicked off at Brisbane's historic Greek Club in South Brisbane. Anyone who was anyone in the Brisbane media scene was there to enjoy the mouthwatering food and drinks, marvelous music, and nimble dancers.
Hellenic Dancers. Image by Tay O'Keefe.
Can You Zorba with the Best? Image by Tay O'Keefe.
In a preview of the talent that will be on show at the event, the launch started with a fine display of bazouki playing by talented seven year old Dimitri Kastrissios and his father. The Paniyiri main stage this year will play host to over 20 hours of entertainment including Greek Dancing with the Stars, Zorba-Til-You-Drop, grape stomping, olive and honey puff eating competitions, plate smashing, Hellenic dancing, not to mention appearances from this year's Ambassador and Greek Princess, Effie.
Greek Princess and Paniyiri Ambassador Effie. Image by Tay O'Keefe.
Home and Away fans will be thrilled to see stars and on screen lovers George Mason and Isabella Giovinazzo in attendance, where they will be participating in Greek cooking demonstrations and competing in Greek Dancing with the Stars. 2016 will also see the launch of the first ever Paniyiri Medals which will be given for services to the community. Plus, there'll be over 30 food stalls from which to choose - so bring your appetite!
Greek Chefs Cook up a Storm. Image by Tay O'Keefe.
It's estimated that this year, festival goers will consume: 300,000 honey puffs, more than 100,000 souvlakia, almost 12,000 dolmades, 20,000 coffees, 1,600 kg of grilled haloumi and more!
Speaking of food, pick yourself up a copy of the free 40th Anniversary Paniyiri Cookbook, which features over 40 pages of traditional and modern Greek recipes. If you can't find a hard copy at the event, you can always download one online. The Greek cooking demonstrations on show at Paniyiri will teach you the finer points which you can replicate back at home with your cookbook.
Did Someone Say Honey Puffs? Image by Tay O'Keefe.
Paniyiri isn't just restricted to one weekend this year. Fashion fans will love the Paniyiri Runway Fashion Event at the Greek Club on Friday May 13th at 7.30pm. Plus film buffs don't miss out either - GoMA will be showing a retrospective of the work of Greek director Theo Angelopoulos. There's also an online retrospective of past Paniyiri events and anyone can contribute their snapshots and happy memories.
Paniyiri really will have something for everyone, so mark it down in your calendar and get ready for a massive celebration of everything Greek.