Thousands flock to Norwood Greek Festival in South Australia

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By Martina Simos

A simple idea of gathering the local Greek community on the grounds of a church in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia has grown in popularity, attracting a new generation of Greek Australians. 

This year was, by far, the largest crowd in the history of the Norwood Greek Festival.

Norwood Greek Fest
Network Ten journalist Alan Murrell Michael and Pip Klimentou. Photo: The Greek Herald/ Martina Simos.
Norwood Greek Fest
Attendees.

On a perfect summer evening, more than 4,000 people of different ages came along to enjoy Greek food and entertainment at the Parish of the Prophet Elias Norwood in Adelaide. 

Norwood Greek Fest
Families Jadon and Canatselis attending the event.
Norwood Greek Fest
Attendees.
Norwood Greek Fest
Entertained by the accordian player Carlo Anzellotti.

The idea of a Greek festival based on the traditional ‘Paniyiria’ of Greece was initiated in 2011 by the former parish priest Father Stavros Psaromatis, with the support of his family.

Norwood Greek Fest
MCs from FIVEaa Stacey-Lee and Matthew Pantelis.
Norwood Greek Fest
FIVEaa radio personalities Stacey-Anastasia Lee and Matthew Pantelis.

The official guests at this year’s festival included: Bishop Silouan of Sinope; Federal Member for Adelaide, Steve Georganas MP; Federal Member for Sturt, James Stevens MP; SA Minister for Transport, Tom Koutsantonis MP representing the SA Premier Peter Malinauskas; the Leader of the Opposition, David Spiers MP; SA Minister for the Arts, Andrea Michaels MP; SA Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Zoe Bettison; Connie Bonaros; Member for Bragg, Jack Batty MP; Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, George Psiachas; City of Norwood Mayor Robert Bria; Chair of the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, Adriana Christopoulos; and President of the Greek Orthodox Community and Parish of Prophet Elias Norwood and Eastern suburbs, George Morias.

Norwood Greek Fest
Father John Choraitis, His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope Mr George Psiachas Greek Consul General and Mr David Speirs Leader of the Opposition.
Norwood Greek Fest
Andriana Karagiannis, Father John Choraitis His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope Greek Consul General Mr George Psiachas Leader of the Opposition Mr David Speirs.

The official guests who gave a speech included: Bishop Silouan, Mr Koutsantonis, Mr Spiers, Mr Psiachas, Mayor Bria and Mr Morias.

Norwood Greek Fest
Bishop Silouan of Sinope and Father John Choraitis.

In his speech, Mr Morias acknowledged Father Stavros, who began the ‘humble’ event, while thanking the current parish priest Father John Choraitis for his support.

Norwood Greek Fest
Two of many of the volunteers.
Norwood Greek Fest
Volunteer.
Norwood Greek Fest
Peter Antoniou cooking for the crowd.

He also praised the efforts of the ‘hard-working’ volunteers, the sub-committee, the Philoptochos, the SA Premier, sponsors and the Executive Council.

Norwood Greek Fest
President Mr George Morias centre and his Executive Committee.
Norwood Greek Fest
Parish priest Father John Choraitis with volunteers and Executive Committee.

“It was the vision of The Very Reverend Fr Stavros Psaromatis to establish a Greek festival, more in line with the traditional ‘Paniyiria’ of Greece, hosted on the grounds of their local Church where people visit the church, open a candle, venerate the icons and then join the festival,” Mr Morias said to the crowd.

“The aim of the festival is to showcase our Greek Orthodox traditions and customs whilst still embracing multiculturism.

“We have in excess of 100 volunteers helping at this festival ranging in age from 15 years to volunteers in their eighties.”

Norwood Greek Fest
Slavo-Ukranian Cultural Dance Group.

On the night, the attendees enjoyed different cultural dance performances and music entertainment from the Slavo-Ukrainian Cultural Dance Group, the Cretan Dance Group and the Messinian Dance Group, the Norwood Greek School Dance Group, the band Kosmos and Michael Papacharalambous on clarinet.

Norwood Greek Fest
Norwood Greek School Dance Group.

This year’s event was supported by the South Australian Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Mr Morias acknowledged their pledge of $75,000 to assist with the festival over the next three years starting in 2024.

Norwood Greek Fest
The Hon Tom Koutsantonis representing the Premier of SA.

On the night, Minister Koutsantonis pledged a further $36,000 to the church for security cameras and lighting.

“We also thank the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Zoe Bettison MP for the $5,000 support under the Celebrate Together program,” Mr Morias said.

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