NYC Salutes Greek Independence with 77th Annual Parade
Greek-Americans and friends of the community from all over New York and the tri-state area marched at this year’s Greek Independence Day Parade, held in NYC’s 5th Avenue from 64th to 79th Street. Grand Marshals were, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, John P. Calamos with his wife Mae, and John and Helen Psaras. As the tradition has it, a contingent of colorfully uniformed Evzons of the Greek Presidential Guard led the way, followed by the dignitaries.
Grand Marshals of Greek Independence Day Parade in New York City, Eleni Psaras and John Psaras, far left, and Mae and John Calamos, third and fourth from right, all with blue and gold sashes, flank (left to right) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio,U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Archbishop Demetrios and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, also a Grand Marhshal. Panos Kammenos, Minister of National Defence of Greece & Nikos Christodoulides, Cyprus Government Spokesman, Honorary Grand Marshals, with white sashes, are at far right. PHOTO: DIMITRIOS PANAGOS
The parade was organized by The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York. Archbishop Demetrios served as the Honorary Parade Chairman, while John Catsimatidis and Philip Christopher were Chairmen Emeritus. Vasilios Gournelos was the Parade Chairman this year. Founded in 1937, the Federation is one of the largest and oldest Greek organizations in America.
Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, Greek Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Michael Kostarakos, and Cypriot Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides represented Greece and Cyprus respectively. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also took part in the parade waving a Greek flag, along with last year’s Grand Marshal Senator Chuck Schumer.
The Parade in Manhattan represents the largest gathering of Greek-Americans outside of Greece, and has strong cultural ties to the Big Apple. Established in 1938, the parade brings over 100,000 onlookers each year with about 25,000 participants. The cold New York City weather didn’t stop the Hellenic community from proudly honoring Greek Independence Day.
This year markes the 77th anniversary that the Greek Independence Day Parade took place in New York and it represents the largest gathering of Greek-Americans outside of Greece. About 50 floats and bands took part with thousands of participants and spectators.