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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 March 2017
2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 MARCH 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Thousands turn out to celebrate Lonsdale St Festival’s 30th anniversary In excess of half a million people around the world engaged with the festival, both in person and online, cementing its position as the leading event of its type in the world ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS Organisers of this year's Lonsdale St Festival should be proud of their efforts, with the event attracting more than 150,000 people over the weekend. Thankfully, Melbourne's temperamental weather behaved itself for the annual event, which was a particularly special one this year, marking the festival's 30th anniversary. The historic Lonsdale Street Greek precinct was brought to life with hours of entertainment across three stages, along with more than 60 food and drink vendors which churned out delicious Greek and Cypriot favourites for all to enjoy. Wurundjeri elder Ron Jones offered a Welcome to Country before Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott officially opened the event. A number of local politicians also took part, along with His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Militopoulis, Consulate General of Greece to Victoria Christina Simantrakis and president of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis. In his address, Mr Papastergiadis took the opportunity to highlight the significance of the festival and noted that its success is underpinned by an "organisation of substance". "The Greek Community of Melbourne, housed in the impressive Greek Centre that it built, is an organisation of substance and actions. Its programs include an educational offering that includes Alphington Grammar, 12 Greek language schools, the largest Ancient Greek Program in Australia and a substantive Modern Greek for beginners program," he said. "It is an organisation that complements this impressive festival with a cultural offering that features the Greek Film Festival; the acclaimed Greek Language and History Seminar program; that collaborates with major institutions such as the Melbourne Festival and the Melbourne Jazz Festival; that presents the popular Live at the Greek series. "Finally, it is a substantive organisation that offers a clear agenda for the future in proposals such as its re- cently announced Bulleen solution." Food is always an important element of the festival, with cooking demonstrations and tastings taking place at the Procal Dairies Greek Kitchen stage. Taking part this year were well-known culinary identities the likes of Phil Vakos (Bahari), Angie Giannakodakis and Jarod Smith (Elyros) and Kathy Tsaples (Sweet Greek). Both the Delphi Bank stage Reliving ancient Greek traditions. Delicious rotisserie goods from Metaxas Meats. Helen Kapalos and Tammy Iliou.
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