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May 2008

Baltimore’s Mid-Atlantic Greek Parade

By Georgia Vavas

Over 5000 spectators from across the Mid-Atlantic region flocked to Baltimore’s officially designated Greektown, festooned with Greek & American flags, to enjoy the Greek Independence Day Mid-Atlantic Parade 2008: “Spirit of America, Legacy of Greece, Freedom & Democracy for All.”

More than 80 marching groups in colorful ethnic costumes and inspiring floats took part, among them the Maryland State Police Color Guard, the Coast Guard Honor Guard and the Baltimore’s own “Evzones”- Greek Honor Guard.

Marching bands included Poly-Western High School, Loch Raven Pipes & Drums, Westsiders and Westminster Municipal Band. Government officials & media personalities paraded in celebration of the independence of the birthplace of democracy, Greece, in one of the largest Greek Independence Day parades in the country.

US Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) was this year’s Grand Marshal with Member of the Parliament of Greece & former Deputy Speaker of the House Mr. Panagiotis Sgouridis, Mr. Constantinos Alexandris, Consul, Mr. Karolos Gadis, Minister Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Greece, and Mr. Aris Melissaratos, former MD Secretary of Business & Economic Development and currently Senior Advisor, Enterprise Development for Johns Hopkins University, as Honorary Grand Marshals.

Military attaches from the Greek & Cypriot Embassies, US Senator Barbara Mikulski and retired Senator Paul Sarbanes were some of the key dignitaries. WBAL-TV’s Rob Roblin (he’s married to a Greek!) MCed this year’s parade.

Children & adults marching in colorful, traditional Greek costumes, representing various regions and islands of Greece, Greek Orthodox clergy in brocade vestments and thousands of spectators made the event an unforgettable experience.

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