Warrawee Park in Oakleigh was transformed this weekend with the sounds of regional Greek music, the aromas of Greek and Cypriot delicacies, and the chatter and laughter of families and friend as thousands turned out for the Oakleigh Glendi.
Organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh and Districts together with Oakleigh Grammar, the two day event did an excellent job in creating an opportunity for members of the Greek community to engage with their culture, and welcomed people from all backgrounds to take part and enjoy.
On day two of the event, the morning kicked off with a parade by Oakleigh Grammar students to commemorate OXI Day and the patron saints of Sts Anargiri. Speeches followed, with good news for Oakleigh Grammar from both sides of politics ahead of the state election later this month.
Labor pledged to contribute $1.5 million towards an upgrade for the school if re-elected, while the Liberal party pledged $4.3 million if Matthew Guy becomes the next Premier of Victoria.
As the day progressed, organisers and stall holders couldn’t have been happier. With clear blue skies and thousands continuing to make their way to the glendi, there was plenty of kefi, especially around the main stage.
Dance groups paid homage to various regions of Greece, including Pontiaki Estia, the Pan Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria Dance Group and the Greek Community of Melbourne Dance Group who performed in traditional dress, the jam packed crowd full of patriots and philhellenes both young and old who proudly watched on, erupting with applause.
People didn’t mind queuing up at stalls to try the food on offer, with lamb slow cooking on the rotisserie, fresh spanakopita, and perfectly fried loukoumades.
Among those in attendance were a number of official guests including Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Dimitrios Michalopoulos, and Greek Australian politicians the likes of Labor Minister for Families & Children, Early Childhood Education and Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos, local Labor member Steve Dimopoulos, and Minister for Trade & Investment, Innovation and the Digital Economy and Small Business Philip Dalidakis.
Below is a snapshot of the Oakleigh Glendi on Sunday. To see Neos Kosmos’ live videos of various dance performances, and the Loukoumades Eating Competition, visit the Neos Kosmos Facebook page: