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10 days till Brisbane goes Greek for the famous Paniyiri Greek Festival

May 11, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Famously diarised by all food, dance and festival goers for the third weekend in May, the acclaimed Paniyiri Greek Festival will be held next weekend (May 20 and 21) and will this year celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hellenic Dancers. Whether you’re a devoted annual high kicker, a fan of Greek culture, or a mad food lover (who doesn’t love Greek food!), there’s plenty to taste, do and see at this year’s Paniyiri, so we’ve collated a top 10 that you will not want to miss in 2017:

  1. Visit the all new Greek village – The Plateia! Beside The Greek Club, it’s home to all the sights, smells and tastes of a traditional Greek Village.
  2. Dance the Zorba on the dancefloor in Musgrave Park – with more than 20 hours of entertainment and stars, this is the place to high kick all those honey puffs off!
  3. Meet the celebrity chefs and Greek cooks upstairs at the famous Traditional Greek Cooking Program upstairs at The Greek Club. All free and all flavour-filled!
  4. Settle in on Saturday night for Greek Dancing with the Stars – watch as stars from Hone & Away, House Rules and more take to the dancefloor – with judges including Amy & Emma Sheppard from Brisbane’s super band, SHEPPARD!
  5. Eat your way around Musgrave Park!! With more than 30 food stalls showcasing food secrets from all corners of Greece, you won’t leave hungry!
  6. Watch as 100 Hellenic Dancers celebrate their 40-year anniversary at 6.40pm on Saturday evening!
  7. Get competitive – enter the Grape Stomping, Olive and Honey Puff Eating Competition, Spaghetti Eating, Plate Smashing and then Zorba-Til-You-Drop! There’s also Brisbane’s Best Baklava and Greek Coffee Making competitions in The Greek Club.
  8. Visit the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of St George next to The Greek Club – there’s tours and concerts.
  9. Listen to Australia’s best Bouzouki player Nick Paras and his drumming brother, Mike Paras.
  10. Visit the Kids’ Zone for Greek themed face painting, activities and meet the Minions from Despicable Me 3 at 2:40pm, 3:20pm and 4pmon Saturday!

Let’s not forget that Greek Cypriot-born Australian and star of Channel Seven’s Home & Away, Ada Nicodemou, who will finally experience her very first Paniyiri Greek Festival and is leading the celebrity charge along with fellow co-star Penny McNamee. They will be joined by House Rules 2017 Queensland contestants and Gold Coast glamour couple, Aaron & Daniella. Headlining the famous Traditional Greek Cooking Demonstration Program is Melbourne-based food lover, chef and author of Sweet Greek fame, Kathy Tsaples. Taking the stage alongside Kathy to share their culinary secrets are: Chrystalla Tzaneros and Sia Aristidou – authors of Mezze, a cookbook showcasing how to make traditional Greek recipes with thermal cooking machines; Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos – authors of Mediterranean Eating: Cook. Eat. Live; Alice Vazanellis – author of Breaking Bread, and representatives from the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society Incorporated and the Cypriot Youth of Brisbane.

Over four decades Paniyiri has grown to become Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival as well as the country’s longest running Greek festival. More than 60,000 are expected to celebrate over the weekend of May 20 & 21. 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.

Tickets are available at the gate and are also available for purchase online from

Paniyiri 2017 Fast Facts

Date:                     Saturday May 20 from 12noon to 10pm AND Sunday May 21 from 10am to 7pm

Location:             Musgrave Park & The Greek Club, Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane

Info:             or 07 3844 1166

See Paniyiri on Facebook for all up to date information

Tickets:                $12 Adults (13+), $5 all Pensioners, Children FREE. Two-day pass $20. Tickets online at

The 15 words you need to know for Paniyiri Greek Festival 2017!  (and those phrases not to use)

The 15 Words You Need to Know for Paniyiri Greek Festival:

  • Γειά σου – Yiasou: Hello and Goodbye
  • Παρακαλώ – Barakalo: Please
  • Eυχαριστώ –  Efharisto: Thank You
  • σουβλάκι – Souvlaki: Souvlaki
  • Καφέ – Kafe: Coffee
  • Οπα – Opa: to celebrate, to show you are having a ball! (FYI Opa Opa Opa is the equivalent to Aussie Aussie Aussie!!)
  • Καλή Όρεξη – Kali orexi: this is said before every meal and translates to Bon Appetite
  • Παππού – Pappoú: Grandfather
  • ΥιαΥιά – Yiayia: Grandmother
  • Καλημέρα  – Kalimèra: Good Morning
  • Άρνακι – Arnáki: Lamb
  • Λουκουμάδες – Loukoumádes: Honey Puffs
  • Χορός  Horos: Dance
  • Μαντίλι  mandili: Dancing hankie (these will feature at the 2017 festival)
  • Παλαμάκια  palamakia: To clap

The 3 phrases best not to use at any time during Paniyiri:

  • I can’t eat another thing
  • I’m on a diet
  • I can’t dance

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