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Paniyiri Greek Festival 2013

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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Up for a weekend of smashing plates & eating honey puffs?
Moussaka, baklava, bouzoukis, souvlaki, haloumi, plate smashing - it's all Greek to me. And it can be all Greek to you too at Australia's largest cultural festival. The legendary Paniyiri Greek Festival is once again taking over South Brisbane's Musgrave Park for its annual weekend explosion of Greek food and culture.

Paniyiri Greek Festival logo. Image from Paniyiri website.

You may not realise this but we are indebted to the Greeks for many important things. From the Greeks we received trial by jury, anchors, democracy, geographical maps and satire. And where would we be without any of them, especially the maps. But we also love them for their food, music, dancing and that famous Greek friendliness, not to mention a touch of plate smashing. And all of these will be on show at this year's festival.

Paniyiri has become a Brisbane tradition over its thirty six year history and it continues to grow in popularity with more than 50,000 people attending last year's festival. All money raised helps with the community initiatives of the Greek Orthodox Community of St George.

When: Saturday 18 May from 12 noon to 10pm. Sunday 19 May from 10am to 7pm.
Where: Musgrave Park, 29 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane
Cost: $10 for adults, $3 for pensioners, children under 13 will be admitted free.
More Information: Check the website here.

greek dancing, paniyiri festival entertainment
Greek dancing. Image from festival website.

[ADVERT]The full program for this weekend of Hellenic hospitality and happiness will be released closer to the date but here are some highlights that you really shouldn't miss.

Plate Smashing
Have you ever felt the urge to smash plates? Well, the Greeks, bless their hearts, make a happy habit of it. All in the name of fun, of course. There will be several opportunities for you to test your arm and your accuracy over the course of the weekend. You may find you have a real talent for it.

Bouzouki Spectacular
The bouzouki is the quintessential Greek musical instrument. Probably most famous for providing the background music for John Cleese's search for 'cheesy comestibles' in Monty Python's Cheese Shop sketch, the bouzouki actually originated in Asia, but found its true home as the mainstay of Greek music. In a first for Australia ten bouzouki players will play together on the one stage. Don't miss it.

bouzouki player, paniyiri festival music
Bouzouki player. Image from festival website.

Food Stalls
You'll find everything from tzatziki (an appetiser with yoghurt, cucumber and lemon) to souvlaki (grilled, skewered meat) and karidopida (walnut cake) to kataifi (a pastry) at the more than 30 food stalls offering their fragrant and flavoursome wares at this year's festival.

Guided Tours of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George
Guided tours of the church at 33 Edmondstone St‎reet, South Brisbane, will be conducted on both days of the festival.

Kids Zone
The special kids area will host an animal nursery, storytelling, art and craft activities and face painting.

Honey Puff and Olive Eating Competitions
I've never been a big fan of olives but those honey puffs could really draw me in. Join in the heats and see if you can make it to the finals and the ultimate glory of champion, something to improve your resume.

No community cultural festival worth its salt would be complete without an evening fireworks display, and Paniyiri has two. Saturday's colourful display is scheduled for 8.45 pm and on Sunday you can catch the bangs at 7pm.

honey puffs, paniyiri festival food
Honey puffs, how many do you do? Image from festival website.

I have 4 double passes to the festival to give away to Weekend Notes readers. To enter, send an email to with 'Paniyiri Greek Festival' in the subject line.

Let us know your name, mobile number, and postal address, and answer the question "Where does the bouzouki originally come from?" Competition closes on Thursday 9 May.

954;αλή τύχη (Good Luck)!
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Why? Who could resist a bit of authorised plate smashing?
When: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2013.
Where: Musgrave Park, 27 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane.
Cost: $10 Adults, $3 Pensioners, children under 13 Free.
Your Comment
Great article! I'm having trouble entering the competition though as it says the email address is not valid. Could you please confirm it is correct or maybe provide an alternative? Many thanks.
by balla (score: 1|22) 2410 days ago
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