During the day time, the Exoghi Village Square is a small, shady area where cars tend to park, but once filled with Panighiri revelers, it becomes a large arena of colour and fun. You would never believe you are standing in the same place. Locals and visitors who wanted, or had booked a table to eat, turned up early, those who were happy just to be part of the festival, started rolling in around 11pm, hanging around the street, inside the church grounds, along the edges of the Square and at bar. Jerome was there again this year, pouring drinks and serving his community in Exoghi by volunteering his services.
Dancing was the number one activity of the Festival. Snogging in the shadows, came second.
The Australian Ex-pats dominated the visitors attendance with a record influx this year, numbers not seen on the island since 1992, but the locals, a few Italians, some Dutch and English, Ex-Pat South Africans and Americans, didn't get too over-shadowed by the Ithaki rooted dinky di. They kicked their heals up high enough to part the Aussie wave when needed.
When it came to dancing, the local men and women win hands down. There is no competition.
Even shop owners from other villages closed their doors the minute the last coin tinkled in the cash register to make a dash for Exoghi so as not to miss out on the Festival any more than was necessary.