Tastes, smells, sounds and colours reminiscent of Greece flooded the Parramatta suburb of Sydney on Sunday, September 11, the day on which the famous “Let’s Go Greek Festival” of the Greek Orthodox Parish-Community of St Ioannis took place.
Since 2014, the parishioners have been working with passion and dedication for the success and continuous improvement of the Festival and, this year, had the pleasure of welcoming around thirty five to forty thousand visitors – both Greeks and members of the broader Australian community and whose expectations were more than fulfilled.
Among the visitors were many State political representatives and those of other institutions, while the Greek Orthodox Church and Archbishop Makarios of Australia was represented by Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis.
More specifically, those present at the “Let’s Go Greek Festival” included: The Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Christos Karras; The Hon. Dr Andrew Charlton, Federal Member for Parramatta and representing Prime Minister Anthony Albanese; Mr Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader; The Hon. Dr Geoff Lee, NSW Minister for Corrections and representing NSW Premier Mr Dominic Perrottet; The Hon. Mark Coure, NSW Minister for Multiculturalism; Mr Steve Kamper, MP; Senators Peter Poulos and Courtney Houssos; and Deputy Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Mr Sameer Pandey, representing Lord Mayor Donna Davis.
The Festival officials and visitors were welcomed by the President of the Parish-Community of St Ioannis, Mr Kos Dimitriou, who thanked them for their presence. Mr Dimitriou also thanked the volunteers, who worked hard for the Festival’s success and in order to offer the public an authentic experience of a Greek festival, with many parallel activities and surprises.
It should be noted that in addition to the Greek flavours and many dishes that had pride of place, the all-day festival included an entertainment program with live music and dance demonstrations, many stands with Greek produce and merchandise, rich and fun activities for children, and thematic exhibitions on the history, tradition and culture of the homeland that were held inside the Parish facilities.
This exciting day, which was a breath of fresh air and filled with optimism after the difficult period brought about by the pandemic, finished with a spectacular display of fireworks in the skies of Parramatta and with the promise of all those present to come together again to celebrate in Greek-style, the next “Let’s Go Greek Festival”.
Photos: © David Petranker