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Paniyiri Is Bringing Its Huge Two-Day Greek Celebration Back to Its May Time Slot in 2023

Get ready for loukoumades, souvlaki and haloumi aplenty at Brisbane's annual ode to Greek food, booze and culture at Musgrave Park.
By Sarah Ward
March 24, 2023
By Sarah Ward
March 24, 2023

Usually when May rolls around, the bulk of Brisbane heads to Musgrave Park for two days to pretend that they're in the Mediterranean. Loukoumades, souvlaki, haloumi and barbecued calamari await, and in hefty quantities. So does a massive celebration of Greek culture, cuisine and booze — aka Paniyiri.

In 2023, that'll finally be happening again, after the 2020 event cancelled, the 2021 fest opted for a scaled-down and largely online format and 2022's big comeback as a full two-day fest was postponed to October due to soggy weather. This'll be the first Paniyiri to take place in its OG format in its OG timing since before the pandemic, running from Saturday, May 20–Sunday, May 21.

Once again, the city's massive Greek festival will take over West End with quite the array of food, drink, partying and more. Yes, there's a reason that more than two million people have gone along over the years.

Getting closer to five decades since the fest first was held in 1976, 2023's Paniyiri will focus on the theme "picnic at Paniyiri". Bring your own blanket to sit on for the day or, if you'd like a souvenir from the occasion, there'll be Paniyiri versions to purchase. No need to take along anything to eat or drink, of course, with the festival's stalls taking care of that — plus the usual array of Greek revelry, such grapes to stomp, coffee to sip, olives to consume, plates to smash, TV stars to rub shoulders with and cooking demonstrations to watch.

Food-wise, expect bites from 11 Greek regions. If devouring as much as you can is your idea of fun, the festival's regular food contests usually keep stomachs satisfied. Then, to wash all of that down, there'll be Greek wine, Greek beer and Greek-inspired cocktails as well.

It wouldn't be Paniyiri without entertainment. While the full event program hasn't yet been revealed, dancing is always a big feature thanks to Greek Dancing with the Stars and the Hellenic dancers — so fingers crossed they return this year.

Paniyiri's cultural program will specifically pay tribute to three powerhouse Greek women in the arts via a historical display: Maria Callas, Melina Mercuri and Irene Papas.

In addition to celebrating all things Greek in Musgrave Park, Paniyiri also takes over The Greek Club — and given that it's marking its first regular fest with its regular timing in three years, expect both venues to host one massive shindig.

"Since 1976, Brisbane's Greek community has taken such pride in bringing people together from all walks of life, to take part in the zest for life that we Greeks have," said Chris Kazonis, Paniyiri's co-Chairman.

"From honey puff-eating to dancing the Zorba to shopping the market stalls reminiscent of the cobbled streets of Mykonos, we enjoy nothing more than bringing Greece to Brisbane's doorstep for one fun-filled weekend every year."

Paniyiri 2023 takes place from Saturday, May 20–Sunday, May 21 at Musgrave Park and The Greek Club, Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane. For more information or to buy tickets from Saturday, March 25, head to the event's website.

Published on March 24, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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