The Paniyiri Greek Festival will celebrate its 40th Anniversary this weekend, and Australia’s favourite Greek comedian and self-acclaimed Princess, Effie, is leading the celebrity charge to “Go Greek.”
Joining her is a list of stars that are guaranteed to melt your haloumi and sweeten your honeypuffs!!
There’s Home & Away stars George Mason and Philippa Northeast; House Rules Queensland twins Luke and Cody Cook; My Kitchen Rules semi-finalists Zana Pali and Gianni Romano and Brisbane’s first lady of cakes in Jocelyn Hancock.
In addition to the stars, there will be wonderful Greek YiaYias (grandmothers) who may (or may not) reveal their cooking and dancing secrets, some of Queensland’s leading authors, and about 60,000 fans joining to celebrate the festival.
Over four decades, Paniyiri has grown to become Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek, and the state’s largest cultural festival.
As the country’s longest running Greek festival, it’s come a long way from the idea that started in 1976 when a group of passionate Greek Australians wanted to share their cultural traditions with Brisbane.
Fast forward to 2016 and this kaleidoscopic cultural explosion is now legendary.
The Paniyiri Main Stage in Musgrave Park will host over 20 hours of entertainment including the return of Greek Dancing with the Stars, the famous ZORBA-THON, Grape Stomping and Hellenic Dancing.
The festival will also hold Olive, Honeypuff and Pasta Eating Competitions, and a competition for the Best Greek Coffee Barista.
The festival will hold over 30 food stalls showcasing the tastes, recipes and secrets of food from all corners of Greece. Cooking classes featuring some of the Greek community’s most famous and loved cooks will be held upstairs at The Greek Club over the festival weekend.
This year festival goers are expected to down some 300,000 Honey Puffs, more than 100,000 Souvlakia, almost 12,000 Dolmades, 20,000 coffees, 1,600 kilograms of grilled Haloumi, 10,000 Shiftalies (Greek Cypriot sausage), 1,000 kilograms of calamari and another 1,000 kilograms of baby octopus!
The Paniyiri festival runs from Saturday 21 May to Sunday 22 May. For information and tickets, visit www.paniyiri.com .