A festival celebrating the best of Greek culture in Perth is returning bigger than ever, with proceeds raised going to various not-for-profit organisations in the community. Following the huge success of last year’s event, the Hellenic Community of WA are once again proud to hold the festival on Sunday 23 October from 11:00am to 8:00pm, taking place on Russell Square in Northbridge at the corner of James and Shenton Streets.
While again 10,000 people were expected to come to ‘The Perth Glendi Greek Festival’ last year; more than 20,000 people were in attendance.
“The turnout exceeded both mine and the committee’s expectation,” the event spokeswoman Despene Kalaf tells Neos Kosmos.
“We actually had the Glendi eight years ago, and then we didn’t have it again until last year, but the overwhelming success made us want to bring it back and present it again.”
The ‘Perth Glendi Greek Festival’ will be a fun-filled day of Hellenic culture, music, dance and food displaying a strong, united sense of Greek national pride and community spirit with various associations from different regions in Greece working together to host this popular cultural event.
“We’re delighted with the support. It indicates and reflects that there’s a big interest in Greek culture in Perth and it appeals to not just the Greeks, but to people from all walks of life and nationalities that come to get their Greek on.”
“It’s a great way of uniting people from all different backgrounds,” Mrs Kalaf explains.
“If you appreciate culture then definitely you can walk away with some interesting memories from the experience. There really is something on offer for everyone.”
Offering mouth-watering Greek food and world famous sweets, traditional Greek dancing including plate smashing, pop up bars, celebrity cooking demonstrations, market stalls, children’s fun fair and much more. Perth’s own celebrity chef, Peter Manifis and South Australian celebrity pastry chef / TV presenter, George Diakomichalis will be showcasing their culinary talents and hosting cooking demonstrations throughout the day.
Manifis will have a stall where he’ll be demonstrating seafood-inspired Greek dishes and lamb will be available to the attendees. Diakomichalis will prepare some phyllo dolmades and also doing bougatsa.
The Cypriot community are doing souvas as well as chicken and lamb on the spit. The mezethes include haloumi, octopus, with a glass of ouzo on the side, moving on to moussaka, baklava, kourambiedes and melomakarona.
“There will also be plate smashing, Greek donut and olive eating competitions throughout the day,” she says.
“A team of Greek women are baking up a storm at a local hall over the next two weeks to ensure there are enough traditional Greek sweet treats on offer. These lovely ladies are also holding cooking demonstrations throughout the festival featuring sweet and savoury options.”
The Castellorizian women are also launching their first ever cookbook at this event titled, From our Greek Kitchen to Yours. The cookbook evolved from the success of their Saturday afternoon cooking classes which they host every six weeks in Mt. Hawthorn. Many participants from all over Perth offered their signature recipes for the book which have been work-shopped over the past few months. This special book is a labour of love with interesting and nostalgic stories accompanying each recipe.
Their traditional Castellorizian sweets being demonstrated are, ‘Katoumari’ and ‘Nifi’s Halva’ amongst other Greek dishes. These sweets will also available to purchase at the Castellorizian Zaharoplastia – Greek Sweets marquee.
In addition to two live bands, the Perth Glendi will also have a young, local bouzouki virtuoso performing at the festival. Anastasi is only 13 years old and moved to WA with his family from Greece.
The festival will also feature an authentic Greek dance group travelling all the way from Darwin.
“The group’s name is OPA ans they were a huge success last year,” Mrs Kalaf explains.
“Maria Stavropoulou from Melbourne and her amazing band from Sydney are also performing.”
Meanwhile, this year’s event will see Perth’s largest Zorba dance in an effort to break a world record as 10,000 people are expected to join in the largest Zorba dance that Perth and potentially the world has ever seen. Funds raised from the Zorba dance will be donated to a charity organisation called ‘Ability Centre’ which provides support services to people with Cerebral Palsy while any additional profits throughout the day go back to the community organisations.
“A local Greek cartoonist, Mike Nicholas will be too be demonstrating his unique, creative skills for patrons to enjoy,” she adds.
“There are also many kids activities as it is a family uniting event. We have an entire area dedicated to children called The Kid’s Funfair, full of rides and face painting and games.”
With plenty of dancing, plate smashing fun, live music and enticing food on offer, the Glendi once again promises to be a lively event, full of energy and atmosphere so come along with your family and friends to enjoy an authentic taste of Greece right here in Perth…OPA!