I've never seen so many people at the Frikes Panighiri since I've been here over the past 11 years. People started arriving early and from then the build up was constant. The village was heaving and throbbing with energy. Although Frikes always tries to make this street festival on a weekend so that the locals from Vathy can come along, it doesn't usually seem to attract the southerners to coming, but this year, with the opening of Penelope's by Tilemahos Karavias, a well respected Vathy local, and Sophia Moraiti from Anoghi, southerners made the trip up north to take advantage of the specials offered. Rementzo Restaurant really needs no extra help, it's always been the popular place to book a table. Fiorendino bar for the youngens and not so youngens and then there is also Symposium and Odysseas Taverna. Odysseas was absolutely bursting at the seams this year. Dodonis at the other end of the bay, was the ideal resting spot when you needed a break from all the noise. Everyone had a role and everyone benefited. A great turn out for the village of Frikes and a success at long last.
Restaurant staff started the evening off fresh and energetic, but were really sweating it out by the end of the night. The service for the Panighiri is fast and furious. There is no time to play catch-up when you have an eager and hungry community to feed.
Students from the US got down and boogied to the tunes of the Cephalonia Band that Frikes has hired over the past couple of years. There were smiles all around and a few sore heads coming up.
Julia from Antikeimeno Tzoulia just up from the bay, was giving Tarot readings and even now when the panighiri is over, you can ask for a reading. A little bit of serious fun.
Side stalls of doughnuts and glaring toys have also now become part of the Panighiria (Festivals) around the island. A little gypsey fun for a buck.
The Frikes Panighiri isn't just for the people of Frikes, but for all of the island. For locals and for visitors. Below - Maki and Maria from Margarita Cafe in Stavros shut their doors after the last customer and headed on down to Frikes to get in a little joy during the Summer Season, which for them, usually means long hours of work.
Left - Nikos and Cynthia Zaferatos brought a group of students from the US to the table. Big laughs, Big fun after a day of cleaning some of the beaches that can only be reached by boat. Thanks guys!!!
People also came from Lefki, and by the size of their smiles, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
They came from Australia. They came from Ireland. They came from Abu Dhabi, South Africa, Germany, UK, USA ...
... and they came from Kioni.
They came from Stavros and Kefalonia. From Kolieri and Exoghi, Anoghi and Lahos.
Boys will be boys and so will men, but not our Lucky, he's a number 10.
Everyone on the dance floor because you just can't help moving your feet to the Grecian beat. The Greek lifestyle may be a little dented or pushed in on the sides, but each time there's a panighiri, it pushes back and straightens out what's been crumpled by the rest of the world.
Smile everyone, the camera's were clicking and flashes were lighting up inbetween the bands' light show. There'll be some memorable shots taken by so many people. memories to cherish.
Above - Kosta from Avra restaurant also headed directly to Frikes after he closed the doors to the Kioni restaurant.
Left - The Mayor of Ithaca, Mr. Kassianos, also supported the village by his presence, and left a little cash to inject into the community.
Time for another page to fit everyone in. Before we head to page 2, I'd like to thank everyone for letting me share their time at the Frikes Panighiri with all of you here online. Without the friendly support of the people who live and visit Ithaca, this website could not function. Ok, now click on Page 2 and see what's left.