Thousands poured into the Darwin Esplanade over the weekend to get their filling of yiros, baklava and Mythos beer as the Darwin GleNTi returned with a bang.
The festival, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is organised annually by the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia (GOCNA) and this year it marked 200 years of the Greek Revolution.
Local visitors and interstate travellers were definitely not disappointed as they enjoyed the best Greek food and drinks Darwin has to offer and at times were even served by the Northern Territory Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, himself, as well as his entire Cabinet.
“Everyone was impressed to see Mr Gunner behind the bar taking orders and pulling drinks. There’s no resting or shaking hands. He, and other members of the Cabinet, did exactly what other volunteers did,” Nicholas Poniris, President of GOCNA, tells The Greek Herald.
From there, attendees were also entertained by a number of Greek dancing groups, and a special ‘Greek Agora’ stall was set up for the groups to raise much needed funds to purchase the Greek costumes they use for their special dance routines.
“I first got my feet on the GleNTi dance floor when I was seven in 2001. I performed at the GleNTi for most of my life and then began to get involved in other ways. Every year it grows and becomes more popular,” Georgia Politis, who was an attendee and the official photographer of the GleNTi, tells The Greek Herald.
“To think twenty years ago there was just a crane holding up some lights without many tents to what it is now, is amazing.”
Whilst people were eating, mingling and enjoying themselves, they were also serenaded by the beautiful voice of Martina, as well as the music of the All Star GleNTi Band and later, international Greek singer, Dimitris Basis.
Later in the day, players from the Hellenic Football Club were also officially handed their trophy after they won against Darwin Olympic on Wednesday in the GleNTi Cup. The crowd cheered as the young men collected their well-deserved prize.
“The GleNTi lived up to the expectations of what we knew would happen. Interstate travellers were even saying that next year they’ll postpone their trip to Greece by a week so they can attend. There’s more pressure now,” Mr Poniris concludes.