The Greek Festival of Sydney makes its return this weekend to the heart of the city, Darling Harbour, as it looks to come back with a bang with a headline performance from Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti.
The Festival’s main act will be held from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday, 19 February, for the first time since 2020 after both COVID-19 and bad weather stopped it from happening in the past two years.
The event, organised chiefly by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, is set for a massive day of activities filled with performances, dances, along with the standard assortment of food and merchandise stalls.
It should be stressed that while Sunday’s activities may be described as its pinnacle, the Festival boasts a wealth of more than 30 majestic cultural events that go until May.
“This year, we celebrate the 41st Greek Festival of Sydney with renewed vitality, following the setbacks experienced over the last three years. I think that as we look back over the past 41 years, we are entitled to take encouragement from the way that what started modestly in 1980 has grown to be a major cultural festival,” said the President of the Community, Mr Harry Danalis, in his message for the Festival’s program.
“The Festival has evolved into one of the most significant annual cultural events in Australia, expressing in an explicit and distinct manner the richness of Greek culture in the Diaspora,” said the Festival’s Chair, Ms Nia Karteris.
“We believe that the basis for the harmonious society we live in rests with the ethos and spirit provided by multiculturalism. What follows is a 14-week program showcases international and local, established and emerging artists whose work is enriched by their heritage and culture,” added Ms Karteris.
Alkistis Protopsalti headlines the entertainment this Sunday and is making her second appearance at the Sydney Festival after last performing at the 2002 event.
The famed singer from Greece will perform her concert in the evening portion with a scheduled start of 7.30 p.m.
Other artists from Greece to appear on the same day are singer Konstantina Touni and clarino player Tryfonas Anastasiou, both acclaimed performers of traditional music and songs, especially from the region of Epirus.
Along with the entertainers from the homeland, there will also be performances from local bands IHO NYX, Mistura and SousAnna’s spread throughout the afternoon.
A significant highlight which traditionally is watched by many parents and grandparents, will be the dances of the Community’s group under the instruction of Paroula Galeli-Thurban and Nicole Thurban-Englezos.
The official program is scheduled for 6 p.m., with Federal and State governments expected to be represented, as well as members of various Sydney municipalities and representatives from numerous Greek-Australian organisations.
Apart from the proceedings at the main stage at Tumbalong Park, there will be dancing performances at the convention centre forecourt from 1 p.m. onwards.
Dancing groups scheduled to perform are Sydney Greek Dancing School, Sydney Sizmos Performers, Sophia Ventouris School of Dance, Cyprus Community of NSW Dance Group and G.O.C. of NSW Dance Group.