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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 February 2015
NEWS 6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Thousands flock to Lonsdale Street Festival The weekend festival saw thousands come to eat, dance and show their solidarity to Greece In blistering summer heat, thousands ventured out to visit the annual Lonsdale Street Greek Festival, searching for a taste of the motherland and to show their solidarity to Greece's new direction. The two-day festival saw bipartisan support for Greece's plight, with opposition leader Bill Shorten embracing the sentiment, saying that "tonight we are all Greeks". Greece's ambassador to Australia, Haris Dafaranos, also relayed the Greek prime minister's thanks to the Greek Australian community for their solidarity and support of the struggling Greek nation. Mr Dafaranos said the community's actions for Greece have not gone unnoticed, and implored all Greek Australians to be "proud" of Greece. "Greece is strong," he said. Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria president Bill Papastergiadis also spoke of the growing and developing Greek community born from the crisis, with many new migrants changing the make up of the wider community. He reiterated the point that the community is going through a "renaissance period", pointing to the new Greek Centre of Contemporary Culture. The festival's headline act Dimitris Basis performed to a rapturous crowd on Saturday, with young and old dancing along. Knowing his audience, he performed a lot of Greek favourites, devoting at least half of his set to the best Greek musical works of the last century. Throughout the two days, hundreds of local Greek Australians took to the stage, performing musical numbers and traditional dances. The Zorba Till You Drop competition saw more than 10 brave souls dance for close to an hour in the hopes of winning a free trip to Greece. While many kept to the stage area, the biggest crowds gathered at the food stalls, with lines snaking down the length of Lonsdale Street for much of the two days. Souvlaki and loukoumades were the food of choice for most, with the chefs run off their feet, buckling in the heat from the fryers. Dancers in traditional costume in front of the brand new Cultural Centre. PHOTOS: KOSTAS DEVES. Cultural displays in the Pan Epirotic stall. An adoring crowd watches Dimitris Basis. Dimitris Basis on stage. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the crowd. Despite the heat, the costumes still stayed on. GOCMV president Bill Papastergiadis (L) with federal opposition leader Bill Shorten. Trying to get as many people to the festival. Darling Harbour turns Greek Sydney’s 33rd Greek Festival saw thousands of people come and enjoy the best things about being Greek As one of Australia's largest and longest running annual cultural events, the Sydney Greek Festival's 33rd instalment saw thousands of people, Greek and non-Greek alike, venture to Darling Harbour for a taste of Greece. While many came to see international act Dimitris Basis perform live, others indulged in the wide variety of traditional food and dancing. The festival is the first and certainly the biggest celebration in the two-month-long calendar of events organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW. Dimitiris Basis performs live. Festivalgoers enjoying the sights, smells and tastes of the festival. The festival launch.
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