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Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade in Baltimore’s historic Greek Town
Maryland’s Greek-American community and philhellenes joyfully participated in the annual Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade in Baltimore’s historic Greek Town on Sunday. Life-long Marylanders Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos were honored to serve as the 2022 Parade’s Grand Marshalls. Representing the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America was Bishop Apostolos of Medeia. Also participating were New Jersey Diocese Chancellor Father Christoforos Oikonomidis, and priests from the surrounding Greek Orthodox churches in Maryland, including Father Michael Pastrikos of St. Nicholas which hosted the liturgy and doxology before the parade and in front of which was the parade viewing stand.
A remarkable number of federal, state and local government officials attended to show their support including: Maryland US Senator Chris Van Hollen and his Greek-American wife Katherine Wilkens Van Hollen; Baltimore area Congressman John Sarbanes; Baltimore City’s Mayor Brandon Scott, Council President Nick Mosby and several Council Members, Comptroller, and State’s Attorney; Maryland’s Senate President Bill Ferguson, several Delegates and Comptroller.
The Government of Greece was represented by several diplomats from the Embassy of Greece to the United States including: Consul General Nektarios Vasilakis, Defense Attache Col. Panagiotis Vlachopoulos, Air Attache Col. Dimitris Bitsis and Naval Attache Captain Prokopis Charitos. The Government of Cyprus was represented by the Embassy of Cyprus to the United State’s Consul General George Loizou and Defense Attache Col. George Ioannou.
A special thanks and congratulations goes out to the Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade Committee and its Chairman George Stakias. The parade each year features dance groups in ethnic costumes, children groups, and Orthodox Clergy from the Baltimore-Washington area. These groups come from as far away as Ocean City, Hagerstown, and Frederick, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Falls Church and Fredericksburg, Virginia, as well as Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania.