14
May
12

Opa! it’s (honey puff) Paniyiri time!

Paniyiri Facebook Like

It’s that special time of the year again…

PANIYIRI Greek Festival THIS WEEKEND!

When people first meet me, they often assume I’m Greek. It’s the name. It actually means yellow, which is the version of blond I tend to get if I miss an appointment with my girls at Suite Three Hair and Beauty.

Suite Three Shine Collection

urbandictionary.com will also tell you that it means I’m an urban legend.

Alicia Witt isn’t Greek either.

Also, importantly, I was named after the Greek Goddess and not after the chick with the robots.

Nope. Never read it. Is it any good?

Xanthe and the Robots

I once put on my CV that I was Greek-Romanian-Indian-Spanish-Australian. I was auditioning for Miss Saigon. I wanted to cover all ethnic bases. Apparently, I was just “too young”. At least they were honest.

HI, I’M XANTHE. I’M NOT REALLY GREEK AND I LOVE PANIYIRI

(AND HONEY PUFFS)!

WHAT? YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO PANIYIRI?!

Dine al-fresco en masse, inhale the smell of the Greek BBQs, dance the Zorba into the Guinness World Record books, smash plates, soothe your inner Greek with the live sounds of the bouzouki and the lira, eat 25 honey puffs in one minute, see a film, experience traditional Greek cooking demonstrations, stomp grapes and see inside the stunning Greek Orthodox Church! And that’s not all!

Paniyiri started 36 years ago. Fast forward to 2012 where more than 50,000 Greeks and honorary Greeks will once again descend on Musgrave Park in South Brisbane for the city’s biggest, loudest and yummiest party, Paniyiri Greek Festival! Join George Houvardas (Packed to the Rafters) and Rob Palmer (Better Homes and Gardens) on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20, when Brisbane overloads on Greek gastronomy and Hellenic hospitality as this legendary kaleidoscopic cultural explosion takes over Brisbane town.

Here’s what you need to know in 2012….

GREEK DANCING WITH THE STARS

Be there to find out what happens when George Houvardas a.k.a Nick ‘Carbo’ Karandonis from Channel Seven’s Packed to The Rafters, and Better Homes and Gardens’ DIY expert, Rob Palmer, fight it out on the dance floor yet again during the hotly contested Greek Dancing with the Stars competition on Saturday May 19 at 7.10pm. GREEK Dancing with the Stars promises to be colourful, comical and controversial, when celebrities including George Houvardas and Rob Palmer, plus Seven presenter Liz CantorQueensland Weekender presenter Chris Parsons, B105 presenter Pete Curulli and Emily Everywhere blogger Emily Jade O’Keeffe, and 4BC’s Peter Dick collide chaotically in a challenge that will separate the twinkle toes from the two left feet.

GUINESS WORLD RECORD ZORBA ATTEMPT

Brisbane, it’s time to step up and step out to take the Guinness World Record for the Longest Zorba! The attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the World’s Longest Zorba will happen on Saturday May 19 at the Paniyiri Greek Festival at Musgrave Park, at 6pm. Leading the Zorba World Record attempt will be Packed to the Rafters star and good Greek lad George Houvardas, together with his best mate, Better Homes and Gardens resident DIY guru, Rob Palmer!

PLATE SMASHING

There is something about the Greeks that makes you want to smash plates!  Sure to be a smash hit with festival goers, test your speed and dexterity with the quintessential Hellenic act of breaking plates which will take place several times over during Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20.

EAT

Help Brisbane eat their way through 200,000 honey puffs, 500kgs of haloumi and take a journey of the senses through 30+ food stalls representing the Aegean, Mainland Greece, Cyprus, Chios, Crete, Rhodes and more all day Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 at Musgrave Park.

TRADITIONAL GREEK COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS

Learn the culinary secrets behind Greek cuisine with sweet and savoury demonstrations all weekend at The Greek Club. At 3pm on Saturday May 19 Channel Seven presenterLiz Cantor and Queensland Weekender presenter Chris Parsons will battle it out on stage to see who will come out victorius in the kitchen. A 3pm on Sunday May 20 George Houvardas (Packed to the Rafters) and Rob Palmer (Better Homes and Gardens) will heat things up when two best mates don the aprons and stir, beat and fold their way through a Greek recipe. AND PROSPECTIVE CHEFS NOTE: the producers of My Kitchen Rules will be scouting for potential talent over the two days!!!

THE MUSIC, THE DANCE

Paniyiri is famous for non-stop dance and music. This year witness the Bouzouki Spectacular (when), when 10 Bouzouki players perform together in a first on Australian soil. Experience hours of Greek entertainment including The Hellenic Dancers, Aegean Groove, DJ Kossi, Herc & Xena and more all weekend. Festival-goers can burn off the Haloumi and Honey Puffs at Trella: The Official Paniyiri After Party with sounds from Brisbane’s own DJ Kossi and more at The Greek Club on Sunday May 20 from 8pm. Tickets available for $25 at the door

GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST GEORGE

Explore the history and mystique of the renowned South Brisbane Church with guided tours on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20.

CULTURAL LECTURES

Delve into the past with a feast of knowledge delivered through a series of lectures by a number of interesting speakers from the University of Queensland in the Greek Club’s Acropolis Room on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20.

HONEY PUFF & OLIVE EATING COMPETITIONS

Devour your way through countless juicy Greek olives or treat your sweet tooth to mountains of mouth-watering Honey Puffs all day Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20. Heats for both the competitions will take place on the Channel Seven stage, with the finals on the Coffee Club Stage in Musgrave Park.

SIDESHOW ALLEY

Plan a detour down Musgrave Park’s vibrant Sideshow Alley to find a host of amusement rides and games for the young, and young at heart, all day Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 at Musgrave Park.

KID’S ZONE

Get creative in the Kid’s Zone with mural painting, art and craft, storytelling and face painting on Saturday May 19 from 1pm until 4.00pm and on Sunday May 20 from 11.00am until 4.00pm. Barn Yard Babies will also keep the little ones entertained as they pet, play and have their photo taken in the gorgeous animal nursery.

FIREWORKS

Sample Greek sweets while watching the spectacular fireworks display explode across the skies of South Brisbane on Saturday May 19 from 8:45pm and Sunday May 20 from 7pm.

FASHION – Friday May 18

Brisbane’s most fashionable set will officially kick off Paniyiri Greek Festival with a flurry of ruffles, colour and Grecian glamour. Working their way down the catwalk,  Greek-Australian models will showcase celebrated Greek designers and retailers plus seasons trends  from Westfield Chermside including the crowd favourite children’s segment. Bazaar Market Stalls staring Hellenic retailers and a complimentary Revlon Booth for guests will help keep faces and wardrobes glowing all night! Tickets are $20 through the Greek Club (3844 1236) or on the door on the night.

Paniyiri is Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek. Paniyiri is a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland. Funds raised are channeled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane’s oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.

Paniyiri 2012 Fast Facts

                         Saturday May 19 & Sunday May 20, 2012

                     From 12noon on Saturday and 10am on Sunday

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

 $10 Adults (13+), $2 Aged Pensioners, Children free

      www.paniyiri.com or 07 3844 1166

Check out this Queensland Weekender story (remember this year’s dates are this weekend, 18th – 21st May)! And enjoy again, my favourite “zorba” of all time!

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