Firsttime festival draws the crowd

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram They may not have smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest Zorba Dance but the Being Greek festival smashed crowd attendance with over 20,000 attending the first-time festival last Sunday in Sydney. Organiser Billy Billiris – along with Anthony Bouteris, Nick Galanopoulos and James Poulos – had so much praise for all the Greek Australians who got involved and helped transform Carss Park in Sydney into a massive Glendi showing Australians of all ages what true Hellenic spirit and entertainment looks like. “At one point there was 14,970 people at 4:00 pm alone in the park – it was just a crazy success,” Mr Billiris tells Neos Kosmos adding that he and his fellow organisers didn’t expect such an overwhelming outcome in their first year. There were over 40 stalls, entertainment by Mary Coustas’ alter ego Effie, DJ Krazy Kon, FIX live band and kids entertainment – it was no surprise that the event ran an hour and a half overtime. Established by the Greek Orthodox Community of Koragah, and organised alongside The Very Rev Sophronios, Mr Billiris says the most important aspect of the day was the amount of families in attendance. He says that although the event was marketed towards the next generation of Greek Australians, families of first, second and third generations all enjoyed a day of dancing, feasting and entertainment. Mr Billiris adds that the cultural exhibitions played an important role on the day. “The [various Greek] associations that had stalls spoke about their history, their immigration to Australia and I think that’s important because a lot of the next generation came yesterday and many rediscovered their history, culture and found out what their parents and grandparents went through when they came to Australia which is important in keeping Hellenism alive.” Over 2000 people danced the Zorba in a bid to break the Guinness World Record, and although they didn’t, Mr Billiris says it was “wonderful to see that unity of Hellenism in such a symbolic dance as the Zorba”. And now, he says the committee has already started the plans for the 2013 Being Greek Festival and it will be “bigger and better next year”. “We are different to other Greek festivals; we marketed it to the next generation and that’s who we wanted to inspire.”last_img

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