This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Paniyiri Greek Festival. Around 60,000 people joined the festivities over the weekend from May 21 to 22 to taste the glorious honey puffs, join in the zorba and learn a few cooking tricks or two. The main stage was never empty and the competitions were high for the grape stomping, olive, honeypuff and pasta eating competitions. Festival goers were expected to eat 300,000 honey puffs and more than 1600 kilograms of grilled haloumi cheese!

Princess Effie graced everyone with her presence and joined in on the cooking demonstrations on Sunday. Among her included Home and Away stars George Mason and Philippa Northeast, My Kitchen Rules semi-finalists Zana Pali and Gianni Romano and Brisbane’s first lady of cakes in Jocelyn Hancock.

The Greek Club displayed a room filled with images, history books and cultural artefacts from each region of Greece to share with the public, for the first time, to reflect on the 40 years of celebration and culture. The Greek Orthodox Church also provided artefacts and tours on the traditions of the church allowing guests to light a candle and take in the paintings within the walls of the church that takes you back to your European travels. It was picturesque!

All I can say is, “Weekend well spent!”

Words and images by Jocelyn Garcia