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The stars will shine, the plates will smash; Honeypuffs will satisfy, and the Zorba will ring out across the city – it’s time to go Greek Brisbane! May 24 & 25 is Paniyiri Greek Festival 2014

April 28, 2014 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Brisbane’s beloved Paniyiri Greek Festival is set to take over the city in a cacophony of dance, food, cooking, celebrations and stars on May 24 and 25. It’s Brisbane’s most fantastic festival!

DusitTwo of Channel Seven’s hottest stars from Home & Away in Jackson Gallagher who plays bad-boy Josh Barrett and Tai Harawho plays his equally as brood-worthy brother Andy, will star at Paniyiri all weekend – they will take part in Greek Dancing with the Stars on Saturday evening, Grape Stomping, Greek Coffee Making and more (detailed program available on request). Joining Jackson and Tai are two of the hottest faces in the television food world, in Greek twins Helena and Vikki, currently finalists inMy Kitchen Rules! The girls will take part in the famous Paniyiri Cooking Program and share their own culinary secrets, as well as joining in Greek Dancing with the Stars and more. 

Based at the Greek Club and Musgrave Park in West End and South Bank, 2014 marks a huge for Paniyiri – 38 years of honeypuff eating, Zorba dancing, plate smashing, bouzouki playing, and Greek cooking secret sharing; all part of the essence ofPaniyiri!  It’s Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival.

One of the most famous parts of Paniyiri is the food – since it began, Paniyiri has served up more than four million Honeypuffs; 275,000 coffees; almost 20 tonnes of haloumi; 3.5million souvlakia and 500,000 dolmades! This year festival goers are expected to down some 300,000 honeypuffs, more than 100,000 souvlakia, almost 10,000 dolmades, 18,000 coffees, 1500 kilograms of grilled haloumi, 10,000 shiftalies (Greek Cypriot sausage), 1000 kilograms of calamari and another 1000 kilograms of baby octopus! That’s one big appetite Brisbane!

The famous Cooking Program features some of the Greek community’s most famous and loved cooks. This year one of Brisbane’s food doyennes in Marcia Georges joins the lineup. Marcia is author of the recently released book, Greek by Heritage Italian by Heart and is co-owner of one of Brisbane’s most famous restaurants in Il Centro Riverside.

Also starring are Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules Greek twins Helena and Vikki Moursellas from Melbourne, along with Toula Manias from Taverna Elias in West End, Sava Argyriou (a fashion designer and cook!), Anthony Galis from Oz Grown Fruit & Veg and a standout lineup of Greek YiaYias (that’s Greek Grandmothers to you) who may or may not reveal generations-kept cooking secrets on stage!

This year will see the inaugural Best Greek Coffee Barista Competition.  Lovers of Greek coffee who know the difference between a sketo, a metrio and a glyko are invited to take part in the search for the maker of the best Greek coffee in Brisbane!

In Musgrave Park more than 30 food stalls will showcase the tastes and recipes from all corners of Greece, while on the main stage, the Zorba, Sirto, Kalamatiano and Sousta will be performed to music played on traditional Greek instruments including the bouzouki, tarabuka, lira and laouto.

Greek Dancing with the Stars will take over on Saturday evening with celebrity judges Anthony Ikin, Vikki Moursellas and Paniyiri royalty, Bico Athanasas set to pass judgement on our celebrity dancers Home & Away’s Jackson Gallagher and Tai Hara, Vikki’s sister Helenaand Michael Price and Clare Blake, hosts of 4BC’s Afternoons program.

Paniyiri classic events the Grape Stomping, Olive Eating and Honeypuff Eating Competitions will be joined this year by the inaugural Kourabiedes (shortbread) Eating Competition! Sand Sculpturist Peter Papamanolis will also pay tribute to Greece’s incredible architecture in sand re-creations all weekend and the Cultural Program includes tours of the stunning Greek Orthodox Church and lectures.

The Paniyiri story began in 1976 – 38 years ago a group of passionate, pioneering Greek Australians wanted to share their cultural traditions and take Brisbane on a journey of discovery through a colourful celebration of dance, music, culture and food.While the historic steps of the Acropolis may be some 15,000km from Brisbane, fast forward to 2014 and this community-initiative-come-kaleidoscopic-cultural-explosion is now legendary, with a handful of the Paniyiri pioneers and more than 60,000 genuine and honorary Greeks flocking to Musgrave Park, South Brisbane every year to celebrate.  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’s oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.

Paniyiri 2014 Fast Facts

Date:                  Saturday May 24 from 12noon AND Sunday May 25 from 10am

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

Info:           or 07 3844 1166

Tickets:                $10 Adults (13+), $3 all Pensioners, Children FREE – tickets available online at

Some Greek Fast Facts!

  1. No point in Greece is more than 137km from the sea; the distance from Brisbane to Noosa.
  2. The first Olympics were staged in Greece in 776 BC. There was 1 event – the 200m sprint.
  3. Ancient Greeks ate dinner lying on their side.
  4. Prior to joining the Euro, the Drachma was Europe’s oldest currency, existing for around 2,650 years.
  5. The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world (second to the doll), and was invented over 3,000 years ago in ancient Greece.
  6. Greece has more than 3,000 islands; only about 170 are inhabited.
  7. Greece could fit into Australia more than 58 times.

Go Greek Brisbane! Pre-Paniyiri Celebrations … from May 7 

The Greek comedy – “The Desperates”  Wednesday May 7 – from 7pm

A musical comedy all in Greek starring well known comedian Kostas Voutsas along with Vasia  Trifyllis, Kostas  Sommer, Giorgos Valaris, Eleni Karakakis and Emilios Raftis; directed by George Valaris.

  • The Greek Club, The Grand Ballroom from 7pm, show starts 8pm
  • Cost: $65pp, bookings essential on 07 3844 1166,

Dance Greek with 4BC! Tuesday May 13 – from 7pm

4BC announcers and listeners will join the Hellenic Dancers in an evening of fun, food and Greek Dancing in the lead up to the festival proper!

  • The Greek Club, Olympus Room from
  • Tickets only through 4BC

Alex Kondos Memorial Lecture – The Pursuit of Beauty in Ancient Greece”  Wednesday May 14 – 7.30pm

This now famous lecture will be presented by Professor Alastair Blanshard, the Paul Eliadis Chair of Classics and Ancient History and Deputy Head of School of the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics of the University of Queensland. The lecture will examine how ancient Greek concepts of beauty, especially physical beauty, came into being, looking at what was distinctive about Greek notions that separated them out from their Mediterranean neighbours and explains why those notions of beauty have been so influential in the West. It offers some lessons on the importance of Greek aesthetic principles to today’s culture.

  • The Greek Club, Ionian Room, starts 7.30pm
  • Free of charge 

The Paniyiri Fashion Parade  Friday May 16 – 7pm

Hosted by Brisbane fashion doyenne Di Cant, the Paniyiri Fashion Parade features the latest looks from around the world and this year will unveil a special fashion moment – a selection of work from the Graduated Diploma Students from Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE Fashion Department. Greece was one of three countries chosen to inspire the students for their final designs.

The Greek Club Ballroom

Doors open 7.00pm for 7.30pm start

Bookings: Adults $25, children under 13 free, allocated seating on booking – 07 3844 1166.

Commemorative Dance Celebration – The 73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Crete   Saturday May 17 – 7pm

The Cretan Association of QLD presents The 73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Crete Commemorative Dance, featuring Sifi Tsourdalakis on Lira supported by Andrew Vardakis, Konstantinos Kirkotsios and Tony Iliou, including DJ JordyGee, Greek style taverna menu and drinks.

Go Greek for a Night!   Tuesday May 20, from 6.10pm

An evening experience of all things Greek to celebrate Paniyiri 2014! A cooking lesson of authentic Greek foods, during this starters and ouzo will be served; then a meal of Greek main courses (Calamari, haloumi, chicken souvlakia, lamb cutlets, spanakopita, moussaka, Greek salad, potatoes and bread), dancing lessons with traditional Greek dancers, and then Greek desserts.

  • The Greek Club, from 6.15pm
  • Cost: $70pp and bookings essential on 07 3844 1166 or online at

Solomos Greek Australian Cultural Society presents A Performance by the Cypriot Dancers Wednesday May 21

The Greek Club, Olympus Room from 7:30pm

Cost: $3 members, $6 non-members (members of Solomos Society)

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