In 22 days, 33 hours, 10 minutes and 18 seconds (as of writing this), the wonderful cultural explosion that is the Paniyiri Greek Festival will take off in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane.
Some thirty-six years ago, a group of passionate Greek Australians set out to share their cultural traditions with Brisbane. Fast forward to 2012, and the legendary Paniyiri celebrations have taken crowds of over 50,000 people on a journey of discovery, celebrated with dance, music and traditional greek recipes.
Paniyiri is Queensland's signature celebration of all things Greek and the state's largest cultural festival. The event will be held from Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 at Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane. Now in its 36th successful and exciting year, Paniyiri is a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland. Funds raised are channeled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane's oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.
Paniyiri Greek Festival will be held on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20, this year, making it the longest running cultural festival in Queensland and the longest running Greek festival in Australia.
More than thirty food stalls will showcase the tastes, recipes and secrets of food from all corners of Greece, while performers of Zorba, Sirto, Kalamatiano and Sousta are showcased on the main stage along with the unique sounds of bouzouki, tarabuka, lilra and laouto instruments.
The Paniyiri Main Stage in Musgrave Park will host over 20 hours of entertainment over the weekend including the return of Greek Dancing with the Stars with special guests George Houvardas who plays Nick 'Carbo' Karandonis in Channel Seven's "Packed to The Rafters" and Rob Palmer from Channel Seven's "Better Homes and Gardens"; a world record Zorba attempt; Grape Stomping, Olive and Honeypuff Eating Competitions; Hellenic Dancing and Zorba Till You Drop.
The Greek Club will be a hive of activity with the popular traditional Greek Cooking Demonstrations featuring Queensland's culinary greats plus the screening of cultural films and just next door, the Greek Orthodox Church will conduct tours to the beautiful sounds of the Byzantine Choir.
While the historic steps of the Acropolis may be some 15,000km from the grassy flats of Brisbane's Musgrave Park, all the sights, sounds, characters and culture from the country which produced Homer, haloumi, honey puffs, Socrates, Plato and the famous Zorba will be celebrated in style during the much anticipated festival.
Hitting Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in Edmonstone Street, South Brisbane on Saturday May 19 from 12 noon and Sunday May 20 from 10:00AM.
Entry fees are $10 for adults (13), $2 for pensioners and children get in for free.
So if you only learn one Greek word this year, make it Paniyiri.