Want to head to overseas but can’t afford it? Well fret not! Luckily for you, Australia is a melting pot of cultural diversity, and there are a bunch of international festivals happening right here in Perth. So you can go along, drink enough imported beer that you forget where you are, and pretend you’re right there in your overseas dream location.
How does that sound? Not bad, hey.
Here are some of the best international celebrations happening in Perth.
Perth Glendi Greek Festival
23 October 2016, Parker Street and Russell Square, Northbridge
A taste of Greece in Perth is what this festival promises, and we swear to Zeus that they deliver. If you head to Glendi, here is what your day will look like: you’ll be greeted by an array of traditional Greek dishes, like lamb on the spit, souvlaki, gyros, tzatziki and baklava, then you’ll watch some Greek cooking demos from local Perth chefs, followed by a wander through the market stalls to buy traditional Greek produce like olives and feta. You'll then kick back at the bar and enjoy an ouzo and live Greek music and finally, you’ll top it all off by joining in some plate-smashing and Greek dancing. Plus, you can take part in Perth’s Largest Zorba Dance, which supports the Fiona Wood Foundation. If all that isn’t enough to get you there, I don’t know what is.
Fridays and Saturdays in October 2016, Rheun-Donau German Club, Myaree
There are many places in Perth you can celebrate Oktoberfest, but you can’t go past Rheun-Donau. This German beer hall puts on a seriously good Oktoberfest party with so much to choose from, you won’t know what to do with yourself. There’s traditional German cuisine, German beers and authentic butterscotch schnapps. There’s traditional music for you to dance to. There’s entertainment by German folk dancers and bell-ringing musical groups. And there’s fun activities like a stein-holding contest and rifle shooting. Lucky they do it every weekend in October, because you might need to go more than once to soak up all the celebrations.
Lilly Street Lasagne Bake-Off
November 2016, Lilly Street, Fremantle
If you reckon you can cook lasagne, think again. The Italians of Lilly Street started an annual lasagne bake-off almost 20 years ago, where street residents cooked the traditional Italian dish and together decided who did the best job. Fast forward to 2016, and the Lilley Street Lasagne Bake-Off has transformed into the coolest event ever. The whole street gets closed off specially for it, the Mayor of Fremantle attends, there is an official judging panel comprised of chefs as well as nonnas, Italian music is playing all day on huge speakers and the street is lined with tables and chairs with lasagne contenders noshing on their ‘practice lasagnes’ and drinking Prosecco and Bira Moretti while they eagerly await the judges’ verdict. If you think you’ve got what it takes and want to enter a lasagne, there is a Lilly Street category (for residents of Lilly Street), an Off-Lilly Street category (for everyone else) and an Out Of The Box category, for a unique twist on the traditional lasagne.
Chinese New Year
28 January 2017, Northbridge
Of all the cultural festivals in Perth, the most popular would have to be Northbridge’s Chinese New Year celebrations. This free community event takes place every year, with James Street, Lake Street, Northbridge Piazza and of course Chinatown being transformed in to the most loud, fun and colourful extravaganza you will ever lay eyes on. As well the lion dancers, dragon dancers and other street performances, you can also expect to find more than 100 stalls offering up delicious Chinese food and beverages. And of course, there is a God of Fortunes there handing out red packets to children as a blessing and token of good luck and great fortune.
St Patrick’s Day Festival
17 March 2017, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, Perth (or any Irish pub in Perth, really)
Does anyone know what St Patrick’s Day is about—other than sinking countless pints of Guinness? Well apparently it’s a feast day to commemorate the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost saint of Ireland. We can get around that. Truth be told, there are many places that deliver great craic on Paddy’s Day, but if you want an authentic experience, you should probably head to the place that is touted as ‘the most authentic Irish pub in Perth’. The celebrations at Durty Nelly’s kick off at 7am, where they serve a full buffet breakfast (with Guinness obviously) before live Irish bands and Irish dancers step things up a notch.
Looking for more? Click here for more things to do!
Image credit: Buzzfeed