Canberra’s two-day Hellenic Festival at the Hellenic Club of Canberra was a hit over the weekend, with 3,500 people attending despite the weather trying to rain on their parade.
“People were dancing in the rain. It was awesome! Kefi always triumphs over the weather,” President of the Greek Orthodox Community and Church of Canberra, John Loukadellis, tells The Greek Herald.
On Saturday, people and organisations from different cultural backgrounds including Greek, Indian, Chinese, Colombian, Mexican, African, Serbian and Pacific Island nations, all came together to provide a multicultural feast.
ACT’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Tara Chayne, and President of the Hellenic Club of Canberra, Stef Pashalidis, also gave speeches recognising the importance of the multicultural event.
“We had set up a marquee and the Greek community had people cooking loukoumades, tiropites, octopus, frappedes, souvlakia, lamb on the spit… There were also dim sims, chicken rolls and Otai, which is a Tongan watermelon drink. It was just a great way to acknowledge the different multicultural backgrounds of Canberra,” Mr Loukadellis says.
This was followed by the ultimate Hellenic festival on Sunday, which was launched with a traditional ‘welcome to country,’ as well as a number of speeches from Mr Loukadellis, Ambassador of Greece to Australia, George Papacostas, and the High Commisioner of Cyprus, Mrs Martha Mavrommatis.
Attendees were invited to take part in a number of exciting games such as a plate-breaking competition, a zeibekiko dancing competition and even a yeeros and loukoumades eating competition. Performances from dancing groups, as well as Greek band, DEFI, also drew loud applause.
“I’d like to thank the contribution of Nick Manikas from ‘Fair Canberra,’ who organised the other cultures on the day and also the events manager from the Hellenic Club, Lisa Andonaros, for the exceptional work she put into making the festival a reality for all,” Mr Loukadellis says.
“It really was an awesome day. The event finished at 5pm but the party didn’t stop until 7pm!”