Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane

Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane - NOT just for Greeks!

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Honey puffs, souvlaki, Greek dancing, grilled haloumi cheese, music, amusements and more.

You could be forgiven for thinking you were in Greece for a few hours.

Here's some insights from the May 2011 Greek Festival - Paniyiri.

Read on to find out more and tips to make it even more enjoyable.

Paniyiri Festival In Brisbane

Paniyiri information poster. Paniyiri Information Poster

It certainly isn't too hard to get interested in an event that include's Greek food, music and rides on a Saturday afternoon.

Paniyiri is held in the open air in Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane over a weekend in May.

Festivities start at 12 noon Saturday till late and 10am Sunday till late.

On Saturday night they have fireworks.

This major Brisbane event was created by the local Greek community based around South Brisbane 35+ years ago to celebrate Greek traditions and heritage and bring a bit of Greece to Brisbane!

Entrance to The Greek Club in Brisbane with Paniyiri Banner. Entrance to Greek Club

A heads up from some local Greek friends about the food... Don't eat anything before you go!

It's best to try to use public transport to get to the area. Finding parking close by isn't easy.

The public transport in Brisbane is great and it is really easy to get to Paniyiri.

As you approach you can let your nose lead you! Follow the delicious smell of the food - charcoal barbeque coals cooking lamb on spits and souvlaki. Mouthwatering!

Paniyiri Lamb on Spit Roast - can you smell it? Yum! Lamb on Spit over hot charcoals at Paniyiri

Enjoy the Greek Matriarchs and Patriarchs in their pristine clothes with their tanned skins. It brings memories of  happy holidays in Greece and the Greek Islands.

Brisbane Paniyiri and those famous honey puffs. Paniyiri Brisbane Famous Honey Puffs

The Greek Club hosts a taverna, films, cultural displays and traditional Greek cooking demonstrations.

Outside you may get to see a honey puff eating contest - you can join in!

Crowds at Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane. Greek Dancing and entertainment the crowds join in. Dance Floor at Paniyiri

In the central area of the festival in Musgrave Park there's a large dance floor and stage. Most people are well prepared to stay and watch for a while. If you can, bring chairs or picnic rugs!

Learn some Greek Dance Moves.  Newbie Greek dancers are instructed on their moves. Aeroplane arms, twirling, shaking the top, shaking the bottom.

More Greek food - grilled haloumi and souvlaki. Greek Food Grilled Haloumi
& Lamb Souvlaki

Surrounding the main area you will find a large range of Greek, Cretan and Cypriot food tents and the bars serving Greek wines (Retsina) and beers.

It's hard to resist the different foods on offer. Traditional Greek sweets and biscuits, marinated baby octopus, kalamari, souvlaki, grilled haloumi and of course honey puffs!

Try the souvlaki and grilled haloumi - it's fantastic. And a tray (or two) of the famed honey puffs to finish off.

What are Honey Puffs? Deep fried batter covered in a sweet syrup. Greeks usually have honey puffs at Christmas as a treat.

Arcade games at Paniyiri Brisbane Arcade Games at Paniyiri

Time to burn a few calories and check out the amusement rides.

There are an impressive range and number of rides and attractions.

Paniyiri Ride Magic Circus - good for the little ones. Magic Circus Ride at Paniyiri

There are the usual throw the ball, shoot the arrow, fire the gun type fairground attractions with prizes to win.

There are some more sedate rides for the really little kids and slides.

There are dodgem cars and other fun attracitons - they may change a bit each year.

Paniyiri Lamb Souvlaki on the BBQ. Smell that barbeque. Lamb Souvlaki Cooking On Charcoals

If you could bottle the amazing smell of the charcoal cooking, that would be the essense of this interesting Greek festival in Brisbane.

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Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane Information & Tips

Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane program. Paniyiri Program of Events

Paniyiri is the Brisbane Greek Festival held annually during May. The event is held in Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane. Check below for map and transport options.

The festival runs over two days usually starting around noon on the Saturday and running till after dark when there are fireworks and dancing till around 10pm. On the Sunday festivities restart around 10am and run through till late with an after party.

There is an entry fee for Adults and Children over 13 years and an option to buy a two day pass.

Entry fee gets you into the festival grounds which are cordoned off. It was cash only! There was an ATM in the Greek Club... but the queue was ridiculous. Make sure you bring cash with you.

You will need extra money to buy food, drinks, amusement rides (2011 about $6 per ride on average), show bags (yes, they have show bags at Paniyiri) and other Greek souvenirs!

Alcohol is served in the main food and drink areas near the main stage. If you don't want your children to see this, there are plenty of areas where you can be away from this area.

The event is suitable for all ages during the day. There is little to no seating to watch the main stage area. Picnic rugs and fold up chairs are useful if you plan to stay for a while.

Each year the format changes slightly, you can check the latest Paniyiri information on their official website.

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Getting to Paniyiri Greek Festival Brisbane

Paniyiri is held in South Brisbane. There are several options for transport including walking from West End, Highgate Hill, South Brisbane or South Bank.

The main public transport options are:

  • Buses to various stops including Southbank Cultural Centre Hub
  • Trains to South Bank or South Brisbane Stations
  • CityCat river ferry services to South Bank

If you drive there is limited on-street parking in the area or underground parking in South Bank.


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