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OPA! Paniyiri Greek Festival

Brisbane’s famous Paniyiri Greek Festival will this year be celebrated over a week of celebrations within The Greek Club precinct and online from May 19. After sadly being cancelled last year due to COVID shut-downs, this year changes to the program have been made to ensure a COVID safe event using the combination of real, virtual and live-streamed experiences. The Paniyiri Organising Committee Chair, Mr Chris Kazonis said that the decision to change the format directly resulted from operating in a COVID-19 world.  “Paniyiri Greek Festival is a community initiative of the Greek Orthodox communities of South East Queensland with any funds raised channelled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George Brisbane. We stage this incredible event by the grace of our community and our sponsors, and have had to adopt to a format that protects us against any future lockdowns, yet still allows us to share our incredible culture, flavours, music, dance and history with greater Brisbane,” he said.

First held back in 1976 the Paniyiri Greek Festival is the countries longest running Greek Festival and one Brisbane is excited to see continue. First initiated by Father Gregory Sakellariou to share the Greek culture with the people of Brisbane, the festival is famous for its amazing food, music and Hellenic dancing.  This jam-packed festival offers Greek cooking classes, a traditional taverna night, a hosted food adventure evening, a day of Greek dance and music, a honey puff pop-up stall and many cultural experiences.

Kicking off the celebrations will be an inspirational evening at the Alex Kondos Memorial Lecture: Women of the Revolution and Revolutionary Women.  With an exciting line up of speakers including local historian Helen Gregory and poet Dean Kalimniou, this entertaining evening will explore the role Greek women played in the War of Independence as well as remarkable local women who chose to challenge the unfamiliar in their daily and professional lives. Vocalists Christina Lignou, Katerini Manolatos and Pana Kalatzis will sing a selection of modern Greek songs composed or written by Greek women. Tickets are free but bookings essential. 

For the avid food lover, Brisbane local and chef-in-residence of Nostimo Restaurant, Alex Xinis is hosting an evening of Greek flavours with a banquet fit for Zeus. After spending many years working in Athens’ two-star Michelin restaurant Funky Gourmet, Alex is well prepared to take you on an incredible whirlwind culinary journey to Greece through an evening of food, music and conversation.  The event will be held on Thursday, May 20.  Tickets are $80 per person and bookings can be made via The Greek Club (07) 3844 1166 or via

Not forgetting the cultural enthusiast there is a two day program being held at the Greek Club on May 22 and 23 showcasing Greek cultural heritage. With documentary screenings and musical presentations this program promises to educate, inspire and entertain. Tickets are free but bookings essential.

Over the past four decades Paniyiri has grown to become Brisbane’s favourite cultural celebration, this year celebrating the 200th year of Greek independence it’s sure to leave you feeling immersed in all the Greek culture has to offer. 


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