Paniyiri, the epic Greek festival that all started with a Zorba dance in Musgrave Park in 1976, is back for its 41st year.
More than 60000 Greeks and honorary Greeks expected to pack into the park this year for a weekend of dancing, music, rides and feasting.
Musgrave Park is the epicentre of all things Greek, both traditional and new: over 30 food stalls, dancing displays on stage, the first Plateia (Greek marketplace), Ada Nicodemou, olive and honey puff guzzling competitions, Hellenic dancing, plate smashing, grape stomping and the challenge to Zorba Till You Drop.
With so much to take in and so much going on, here are 10 absolute highlights you won't want to miss:
1. Visit The Plateia (Greek Village), which makes its debut this year at Paniyiri. Set up alongside The Greek Club, it's the place to experience the real sights, smells and tastes of a traditional Greek Village.
2. Dance the Zorba on the dancefloor in Musgrave Park – with more than 20 hours of entertainment and stars, this is the place to work off all of those honey puffs.
3. Head upstairs to the Traditional Greek Cooking Program at The Greek Club, where celebrity chefs and Greek cooks will be preparing all manner of delicious Greek morsels.
4. Stick around on Saturday night to watch Greek Dancing with the Stars, with judges including Amy & Emma Sheppard from Brisbane’s super band, SHEPPARD.
5. Eat your way around Musgrave Park via the more than 30 food stalls showcasing delectable food secrets from all corners of Greece.
6. Watch as 100 Hellenic Dancers kick up their heels to celebrate their 40-year anniversary at 6.40pm on Saturday evening.
7. Enter the Grape Stomping, Olive and Honey Puff Eating Competition, Spaghetti Eating, Plate Smashing and then Zorba-Til-You-Drop. (There’s also Brisbane’s Best Baklava and Greek Coffee Making competitions in The Greek Club).
8. Take a tour or attend a concert at the beautiful Greek Orthodox Church of St George next to The Greek Club.
9. Listen to Australia’s best Bouzouki player Nick Paras and his drumming brother, Mike Paras.
10. Take the children to the Kids’ Zone for Greek themed face painting, activities and meet the Minions from Despicable Me 3 at 2:40pm, 3:20pm and 4pm on Saturday.
Nice to know: Paniyiri is the work of a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland, with funds channelled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George (Brisbane’s oldest Greek community, dating from the 1920s).
Need to know: 2 Day Passes are available for $20. *Pensioners tickets ($5) are only available at the gate, where a valid concession pass must be shown.