Although the Greeks at home are coming to terms with their new austerity measures, there will be nothing of the sort at what is said to be Queensland's largest cultural festival. In fact, food, drink and merriment in colossal proportions is what Brisbanites have come to know and expect from the 34-year-old celebration of all things Greek, and this year will be no exception.
The festival is spread over South Brisbane's Musgrave Park and the nearby Greek Club and Convention Centre, and a good way to start is to sample some of Greece's famous culinary delights from some of the 30 stalls. Gorge on juicy layered moussaka, neatly wrapped dolmades and delicious thick taramasalata, and finish it off with some syrup-drenched baklava and a powdery kourabiethe.
If you can still move after all that Hellenic hospitality, head to the main stage. The program is bursting with opportunities to grape stomp, let loose in the Zorba Till You Drop contest, take in a performance by Greek singer Maria Maroulis or self-appointed Greek goddess Effie, and test out your stomach again with the honey puff or olive eating competitions.
But that's not all. Pasarela: Parade on the Park will showcase couture from well-known catwalk players on the Friday night, public lectures at the Greek Club will leave you feeling like a modern-day Plato, and the popular cooking program along with cooking demonstrations by contestants from television cooking program My Kitchen Rules will give you yet another reason to indulge. And why not see some Greek films and explore the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of St George on the Saturday and Sunday before enjoying a traditional Greek coffee (with some masourakia on the side, of course) while watching the fireworks.
Entry is $8 for adults, $2 for pensioners, and free for kids aged 12 and under. There are plenty of public transport options to the park, and the Greek Club is only a stone's throw away.