If you are looking for a taste of Greece without the travel, head to Kingston this Sunday for Canberra Greek Day.
After two years of cancelled events, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia – in collaboration with the Greek community of Canberra – decided it was time to showcase Canberra’s combined love of partying and celebrating multiculturalism.
This Sunday (19 June), live music, dancing and, of course, all your favourite Greek sweets and savoury delights will be showcased at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston from 11 am.
Canberra Greek Day organiser and Greek Orthodox Community and Church of Canberra president John Loukadellis said this would be the community’s biggest Greek event of the year.
“We just want people to have a fun day out with good food, family and friends and enjoy the music, dancing and the cultural experience, because again, we missed out on the multicultural festival this year,” he said.
“We thought that we’d have one last event before everybody starts getting into hibernation mode.
“It’s not just for the Greek community, but for the overall broader community. Canberrans can’t live without a party, so it’ll be a nice change.”
Mr Loukadellis said there would be plenty of things on offer including stalls with Greek jewellery, icons, homewares, bags, and candles, as well as Greek sweets, pastries, coffees and savoury foods, live music, dancing and more.
“We’ve got the Canberra Hellenic Dancers performing throughout the day, we’ve got our local Greek band ‘Kefi’ performing, there will be a DJ playing music all day and we’ve also got the international superstar of Greek music Nikos Makropoulos performing too,” he said.
Between 10,000 and 15,000 people are expected to attend.
There will also be plenty of Greek food on offer including a sausage sizzle put on by Holy Trinity School in Curtin, meat plates, grilled octopus, calamari and gyros (Greek kebabs) served by Canberra Olympic Football Club, traditional Greek sweets such as melomakarona, koulouryia and kourambiedes (Greek cookies) and Greek coffee sold by the Cyprus community and the St Nicholas Canberra Philoptochos, Greek pastries from Yiayia’s Bakery and Greek sweets from Sweet Amalia.
One of the stallholders attending the inaugural Canberra Greek Day is Mimi Mati – a Sydney-based Greek jewellery company.
Mimi Mati owner, 22-year-old Anastasia Poniris will be coming to Canberra for her third time after attending two of the National Museum’s cultural events earlier this year.
She will be selling sterling silver jewellery including the evil eye and crosses, as well as religious icons, rosaries, candles and handbags, which are all imported directly from parts of Greece.
“I’m really excited to be coming to Canberra again. I’ve had heaps of people on Facebook message me saying can’t wait to see me there and selling my products, so that’s really encouraging,” she said.
“Canberra’s got a very big Greek community which is amazing. There’s also a lot of people from many different backgrounds that love my products, so I feel so welcome coming and grateful that I’m going to be attending.
“I just love the atmosphere. Everyone’s happy, everyone’s enjoying the music, the stalls and the food and they get to taste a piece of Greece while they’re at home.”
Mr Loukadellis said all stall-holders and participants were welcome to join the free event, however asked they consider donating to the Greek School of Canberra to help them continue growing.
“I’m just so thrilled that we’re able to promote multiculturalism in the ACT and are able to showcase our culture and our community,” he said.
“That’s really what we’re here for, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Canberra Greek Day will be held this Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston.
To find out more, visit Canberra Greek Day.