To ensure you make the most of this weekend’s Paniyiri event, here’s a guide to everything to see, do, eat and drink. Opa!
Australia’s longest running Greek festival, Paniyiri, is back this weekend in Brisbane promising more entertainment, food and fun than ever.
The event, which takes over Musgrave Park and The Greek Club at South Brisbane on Saturday and Sunday, is now in its 47th year, celebrating all things Hellenic with everything from dancing and plate smashing to honey puff eating.
“We’re thrilled about the line-up of new attractions we have in store for this year’s Paniyiri like The Coffee Club’s Ouzo Espresso Martini and the Olympiad which is a fun and challenging event for the crowd,” said Paniyiri co-chairman Chris Kazonis.
Theodore Samios, Mezzo Soprano Demetra Politakis and Angeliki Samios gear up for Paniyiri. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Particularly set to win fans this year is a new cultural program celebrating the legendary women of Greek music and drama, which will sit alongside favourites including cooking demonstrations, competitions, a side show alley and countless food and drink stalls boasting everything from lemon-dressed baby octopus to Nutella yiros.
Ultimate gallery: 25 years of the Paniyiri Greek Festival
Mr Kazonis also predicts appearances by The Fren family from Channel 9’s Travel Guides and MAFS couples Melissa and Layton, and Ollie and Tahnee to draw in the punters.
“The main stage on Saturday night sees the biggest crowds with dancing competitions, crowd interaction and the laser show,” he said.
“We invite everyone to come together and be a part of our fully inclusive Greek community.”
To ensure you make the most of this year’s event, we have put together the ultimate guide to Paniyiri 2023 with everything to see, do, eat and drink.
What does Paniyiri mean in English?
Paniyiri is Australia’s longest running Greek Festival featuring two days of food, dance, music, rides, art, culture and more.
Where is the Paniyiri festival held?
Paniyiri will be held at Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane.
How much is the Paniyiri festival?
Saturday and Sunday, single day pass: $16.85 per adult, children 12 and under are free.
Weekend, two day pass: $27.05 per adult, children 12 and under are free.
Rides at Paniyiri Greek festival in Side Show Alley.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO AT PANIYIRI
FOR THE FUN-SEEKER
1. Side Show Alley
What: Games and rides including a carousel and mini ferris wheel.
When and where: All weekend
2. Zorba til you drop competition
What: The public will dance the zorba, with the best dancers selected to compete in the elimination round, where the music gets faster and faster until those who can’t keep up drop out leaving a final victor. The champion wins an iPad.
When and where: Main stage, Sunday 4.25pm
Zorba Greek dancing at the Paniyiri Greek Festival, South Brisbane. Picture: Steve Pohlner
3. Plate Smashing Competition
What: Participants must use one hand to smash a pile of plates, with the person who finishes fastest winning a voucher to The Greek Club.
When and where: Main stage, Saturday 3.45pm, Sunday 1.10pm and 5pm
What: The official after-party including live music, vodka slushies and local Greek DJs.
When and where: The Greek Club, top floor, Sunday, 7pm
FOR THE FOODIES
1. The Coffee Club’s ouza espresso martini
What: This cocktail is a Paniyiri first, created especially for the festival this year.
When and where: Available all weekend from bars on the park
Authentic Greek delights including souvla, haloumi and baby octopus will be on show at Paniyir. Picture: Liam Kidston.
2. Try the new Nutella yiros, the classic honey puffs, souvla, haloumi, baby octopus and Greek wines
When and where: Available all weekend at the food stalls and Nostimo restaurant at The Greek Club
3. Cooking demonstrations
What: Learn how to make everything from naked spanakopita slice and moussaka to kunefe sweet cheese slice and bourekia (ricotta and cinnamon pastries), plus more.
When and where: All weekend at The Greek Club
The annual honey puff eating competition is a huge hit. Picture: Peter Wallis
4. Honey Puff Eating Competition
What: Challenge your fellow foodie to see who can eat a plate of honey puffs the fastest with your hands tied behind your back. The first to finish wins a voucher to The Greek Club.
When and where: At Main Stage, Saturday 4.40pm and Sunday 1.35pm
FOR THE KIDS
1. Instrument making workshop
What: Kids will learn how to create their own musical instrument.
When and where: The Greek Club, Saturday 12.30pm-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
2. Kids Zone
What: Glitter tattoos, face painting and arts and crafts.
When and where: B105 Activation Stage, Sunday only.
FOR THE CULTURED
1. Cultural display
What: An exhibition, talks and performances celebrating the great women of Greek music and drama.
When and where: Level 1, The Greek Club, Saturday 12.30pm-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
2. Hellenic dancers and performers
What: Greek dancers from all over Brisbane and interstate will showcase their best moves, with the public encouraged to watch and join in.
When and where: All weekend, Main stage