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Paniyiri Greek Festival

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A little piece of heaven, that's what loukoumades are, known to non-Greeks as Honey Puffs!

Paniyiri is a legendary annual kaleidoscopic cultural explosion which sees over 50,000 Greeks and honorary Greeks flocking to Brisbane's Musgrave Park every May.

If deep-frying is a surefire way to make good food better, loukoumades go one step further. These sweet temptations consist of yeasty dough that is deep-fried until it puffs up golden brown, with a yielding crispness. Sprinkle that fried dough with a dash of cinnamon, then add a generous drizzle of honey syrup, and you get a little piece of bliss.

These heavenly donut puffs dipped in honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon are a major part of the attraction. Two hundred thousand of them will make a brief appearance at the festival before being quickly (and appreciatively) demolished.

Over the two huge days of Paniyiri, over 30 stalls will showcase tastes from all regions of Greece including the Aegean, Ionian, Mainland Greece, Cyprus, Chios, Crete, Rhodes regions and many more. Upstairs in The Greek Club the culinary secrets behind Greek cuisine will be revealed, with sweet and savoury demonstrations all day Saturday & Sunday, including how to make loukoumades!

The Paniyiri Main Stage in Musgrave Park will host over 20 hours of entertainment over the weekend including the return of Greek Dancing with the Stars with special guests George Houvardas who plays Nick 'Carbo' Karandonis in Channel Seven's Packed to The Rafters and  Rob Palmer from Channel Seven's Better Homes and Gardens; a world record Zorba attempt; Grape Stomping, Olive and Honey Puff Eating Competitions; Hellenic Dancing performances and Zorba Till You Drop. The Greek Club will be a hive of activity with the popular traditional Greek Cooking Demonstrations featuring Queensland's culinary greats plus the screening of cultural films and just next door, the Greek Orthodox Church will conduct tours to the beautiful sounds of the Byzantine Choir.

While the historic steps of the Acropolis may be some 15,000km from the grassy flats of Brisbane's Musgrave Park, all the sights, sounds, characters and culture from the country which produced Homer, haloumi, honey puffs, Socrates, Plato and the famous Zorba will be celebrated in style during the much anticipated festival.

So, if you only learn one Greek word this year, make it Paniyiri!

Paniyiri is Queensland's signature celebration of all things Greek and the state's largest cultural festival. The event will be held from Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 at Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane. Now in its 36th  successful and exciting year, 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. Details .....

 

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