Paniyiri celebrates 40 years of the Hellenic Dancers and introduces the Plateia 2017
This year, while the flavours of halumi and honeypuffs headline the food trail of Brisbane’s most loved cultural celebration, an all-new experience has been unveiled for Paniyiri Greek Festival – the authentic Greek village, The Plateia!
In less than six weks, Brisbane officially goes Greek for two days and the acclaimed Paniyiri Greek Festival takes over the city in a haze of flavour-filled BBQ smoke and the music of Zorba. Famously diarised by all food, dance and festival goers for the third weekend in May, Paniyiri Greek Festival will be held over May 20 and 21 and will this year celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hellenic Dancers.
At home beside the Greek Club, The Plateia will celebrate the sights, smells and tastes of a traditional Greek Village, and has been designed paying tribute to the distinctive Cycladic architecture – think iconic blue window shutters and doors, narrow, paved streets, vine-covered pergolas, whitewashed walls and market stalls full of colour, flavours and characters. Traditional flavour-makers at The Plateia will include:
· The Kafenio creating traditional Greek coffee, frappe, freddocino (a traditional Greek iced coffee), and freddospress;
· Zaharoplasteio or sweet shop with the famous Greek sweet loukoumades (aka, Honey Puffs!) and Ek Mek Kataifi – a scrumptious layered dessert consisting of syrupy baked shred phyllo, creamy custard and whipped cream;
· Psaro Taverna or the Seafood Taverna with fresh octopus prepared and cooked on the coals alongside an authentic Greek oyster shucker and meze platters;
· Ouzeri or the Wine Bar also featuring Greek sounds from the bouzouki and traditional Greek beers and wines;
· Traditional Taverna with lamb, pork and chicken cooked over the coals and of course souvlaki, and
· Market stalls selling the Greek Mandili (scarf/bandana for dancing), Grecian headpieces and jewellery.
Paniyiri 2017 event highlights include the introduction of The Plateia (authentic Greek Village), the Hellenic Dancers Showcase Program, the acclaimed cooking program starring the flavours and faces of Greece and a line-up of authors, chefs, speakers and home cooks; as well as the dancers, singers, stars and the array of celebrities that will make the third weekend in May taste, sound and feel extraordinary.
More than 20 hours of entertainment over the weekend includes the return of Greek Dancing with the Stars featuring special celebrity guests and judges, the famous ZORBA-Til-You-Drop, Grape Stomping, Olive and Honey Puff Eating Competitions, Spaghetti eating, plate smashing, and the return of the great Greek characters, Herc & Xena. Famous Greek dances, the Zorba, Sirto, Kalamatiano and Sousta, will be performed to music played on traditional Greek instruments including the bouzouki, tarabuka, lira and laouto. On Musgrave Park, more than 30 food stalls will showcase the tastes, recipes and secrets of food from all corners of Greece.
In the 41 years of Paniyiri, almost two million festival-goers have devoured well over five million honey puffs, rivers of thick sweet coffees, over four million Souvlaki, 25 tonnes Haloumi and countless calamari and Dolmades. Only Zeus knows how many high kicks have been performed! Brisbane’s love of its famous Greek Festival knows few bounds! Paniyiri is a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland. Funds raised are channelled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane. It is Brisbane’s oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.
See www.paniyiri.com or Paniyiri on Facebook for all up to date information. Tickets are available at the gate and are also available for purchase online from paniyiri.com