West End Transforms for Paniyiri, Queensland’s Largest Greek Festival

West End is set to transform into a lively celebration of Greek culture as Queensland’s largest multicultural festival, Paniyiri Greek Festival, returns for its 48th year in 2024.

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Attracting over 50,000 people annually, this two-day extravaganza will take over Musgrave Park in West End and the Greek Club in South Brisbane on May 18 and 19.

Organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Paniyiri is not only Queensland’s longest-running Greek fest but also one of Australia’s most enduring celebrations of Hellenic culture. Visitors can expect an immersive experience that transports them to the heart of Greek culture. 

Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook 

From lively Zorba dancing and the traditional plate smashing to indulging in delectable honey puff eating competitions, the festival promises a true taste of Greek revelry.

Beyond the festivities, attendees can explore a pop-up Greek village, witness captivating cooking demonstrations, and savour a mouthwatering array of Greek culinary delights from food stalls and cafes.

Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook 

The festival’s significance extends far beyond its cultural offerings. As Minister for Multicultural Affairs and a second-generation child of Greek parents, Charis Mullen, proudly acknowledges Paniyiri’s immense importance on Queensland’s multicultural calendar. “Queensland is a proudly multicultural state,” Mullen states. 

Greek Festival
Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook 

“We speak hundreds of languages and come from all corners of the globe, and it’s festivals like this that bring us all together to proudly share our multicultural heritage.”

Echoing these sentiments, Chris Kazonis OAM, Chair of the Paniyiri Organizing Committee, emphasises the festival’s role in showcasing the Greek community’s rich culture. 

Greek Festival
Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook 

“This is one of the nation’s biggest festivals to showcase our food, music, and art, and Australia’s longest-running Greek festival,” he said. “It’s time to dine, dance, and party like a Greek.”

As the state embraces its multicultural tapestry, Paniyiri stands as a vibrant celebration of unity, diversity, and the enduring spirit of Queensland’s Greek community.

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Mark your calendars for this extraordinary event, where the flavours, sounds, and traditions of Greece will come alive in the heart of Brisbane. Visit https://paniyiri.com/ for more details.

Published 1-April-2024

Paniyiri Greek Festival to Go Ahead Amidst Musgrave Park’s Rough Sleepers

It’s all systems go for the annual Paniyiri Greek Festival, which has attracted over 60,000 people in recent years, amidst fears of a cancellation due to the presence of rough sleepers at Musgrave Park. 

The biggest cultural event in Brisbane will take place as planned on 20 and 21 May 2023 to showcase the rich history of the Greek community. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner confirmed that the 47-year-old festival will not be cancelled but they have taken measures to ensure that the homeless people temporarily setting up camp in Musgrave Park will not be displaced.

Speaking with Neil Breen at 4B, the mayor acknowledges the challenging conundrum of keeping the festival enjoyable for the attendees but also safe for the rough sleepers. 

A section of the park will be cordoned off to allow the homeless to stay. The Council’s team has been discussing with people in the park for a number of weeks leading up to the Greek community’s event to move them to a different section of the park. 

“[We have been] working with Paniyiri and the State Government to make sure that the event can go ahead but also to make sure that people aren’t being displaced,” said Mr Schrinner.

“We’ve come up with what we believe is a good workable solution. So, no one is going to be evicted from the park. That’s certainly not what we want to see happen. But we’re working with the State Government to make sure housing options are provided to the people that are living in Musgrave Park. There are 15 accommodation options and we’re working through there.”

The mayor also acknowledges that the number of homeless is growing progressively due to the cost of living crisis and the housing crisis. Many renters are now forced to sleep in their cars, under bridges, or in tents in parks like Musgrave Park because landlords stockpile housing for financial gain.

Mr Schrinner has been pushing to open the Pinkenba facility for the homeless. 

Meanwhile, the organisers of the Paniyiri Greek Festival have also released this statement to confirm that the event will not be cancelled: 

“For Paniyiri 2023, GOC St George has been in contact with all levels of Government to chart a path forward with the running of the Festival.  Brisbane City Council has worked closely in support of both Paniyiri Greek Festival and those living in the Park to ensure the Festival can continue in a co-ordinated and cohesive way.  Our planning with Brisbane City Council puts the needs of those living in the Park as a key consideration for the Festival and a range of community initiatives will support the welfare of all involved.”

Published 9-May-2023

Coming Together at the ‘Paniyiri Greek Festival 2022’ in South Brisbane

After being postponed due to severe weather events earlier in the year, the much-loved Paniyiri Greek Festival is finally happening, just in time for some serious spring-summer fun in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane!

And just like how it’s done every year, ‘Paniyiri,’ which means ‘coming together’ in Greek, will see friends and family taking over Musgrave Park for a weekend of music, dancing, and loads of food.

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Cultural presentations

Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook

The Paniyiri Festival started in 1976 when a group of Greek-Australians decided to share their culture and cooking with the wider community. 

Pretty soon, other Greek-Australian groups joined the annual celebrations, bringing not just food, but also a healthy dose of music, entertainment, and Greek culture into the mix.

Brisbane’s first Hellenic dance club was formed in 1978 and has participated at every Paniyiri Festival since. The dance club showcases traditional dance in costumes from the various regions of Greece.

Live performances

Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook

The main stage will be filled with live performances and competitions throughout the two-day party, courtesy of The Coffee Club, which is one of the sponsors of the festival.

Food and Cooking Demos

Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook

There will be multiple food stalls that will represent the different regions of Greece. One of the dishes you’re sure to find here is Souvlaki, which is grilled meat served on a skewer, best served with soft pita bread and zesty tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber dip).

A Greek foodie experience is not complete without seafood, so grab the chance to taste some grilled octopus! There’s also something to satisfy all dessert lovers, such as the festival’s iconic sweet and fluffy honey puffs.

Food lovers surely wouldn’t want to miss the cooking demonstrations, to be presented by The Greek Club.

A Taste of Greece

Paniyiri Greek Festival
Nostimo (Photo credit: Paniyiri Greek Festival/Facebook)

Ticket-holders will also have a chance to win a private dining experience with up to nine of their friends at Greek restaurant Nostimo restaurant. Prizes includes food and drinks with a maximum spend of $1500.

Mark Your Calendars!

WhatPaniyiri Festival 2022
WhereMusgrave Park, South Brisbane
WhenSaturday, Oct 15 2022 (12pm – 10pm) – Sunday, Oct 16 (10:00 am – 7pm)

Read: Renovated West End Cafe Offers Immersive, Full-Service Dining Experience

To learn more about the upcoming event, visit https://paniyiri.com/ 

Paniyiri Festival 2018 At West End

Back for its 42nd year, the Paniyiri Greek Festival will be happening on 19-20 May at Musgrave Park at the West End and at the Greek Club in South Brisbane. Get ready for a weekend of dancing, great Greek feast, music, and many more!

Over 60,000 Greeks and honorary Greeks are expected to turn up to this weekend-long festival.

There will be over 36 food stalls that will offer the distinct flavours of the renowned mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy delicious haloumi, souvlaki, moussake, baklava, and many more!

Photo credit: Must Do Brisbane

There will also be a lot of dancing, plate smashing, grape stomping, and to Zorba till you drop! You also don’t want to miss the honey puff guzzling competitions.

On Saturday night, watch the great dance-off between Channel Seven and Hit105 stars compete against the title of Greek Dancing with the Stars.

There is also a special place for your kids are the Kids Zone area that will be offering free crafts and games along with dance lessons with the Junior Hellenic Dancers Group. Story Time, a much-awaited session, will keep the younger ones entertained

Photo credit: The West End Magazine

This festival is Queensland’s largest cultural festival. The Paniyiri was established in 1976 and it is a community initiative. The funds that they acquire are given to the South-East Queensland Greek community through the Greek Orthodox Community of St. George., Brisbane’s oldest Greek community.

Get your tickets here.

Address: 121 Cordelia St.