198 years ago, on March 25th, 1821, the Greek Revolutionary Forces raised the standard of the cross and declared that Greece would be free from the Ottoman rule. 400 years of agony, suffering, and enslavement under the yoke of a brutal conqueror was about to end.

Inspired by the classical Hellenic standards of Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis, the gallant patriots of 1821 proceeded to show the world that courage was indeed the word of Greek invention and lived their motto of “VICTORY or DEATH” to the fullest.

Greece is the mother country of freedom and knowledge of western culture and democracy, and each of us in the Western World is her child, no matter what our national origin might be.

The Greek War of Independence restored freedom and eventual democracy to the place that gave birth to these concepts.

Battle scene from the Greek War of Independence by Georg Perlberg
Battle scene from the Greek War of Independence by Georg Perlberg

Many Americans contributed their actions and voices to the Greek cause. The Greek-Americans will never forget the names like President James Monroe, President John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and Edward Everett, among others, who so gallantly championed the cause of Greek Freedom in the halls of Congress.

Long Live Hellenism!


Read also: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims March 25, 2018, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy

SATURDAY – March 30, 2019
4:30 PM
$75
Eleftheria Awards Dinner

Honorees

  • Eleftheria Award Recipient & Grand Marshal: Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece
  • Honorary Marshals: Mr. Kyriakos Mossaides & the Pontian Society Akritai

The Merion
1301 Route 130 South, Cinnaminson NJ 08077, (*GPS Address: 1700 Wynwood Drive Cinnaminson, NJ)

MONDAY – April 1 2019
FreePontian Genocide Lecture
Co-sponsored by the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia and the Pontian Society Akritai
History of the Pontian Genocide by Dr. Thomas Savvidis, University of Thessaloniki
Drexel University, New College Building
Geary Auditorium
245 N. 15th Street (15th and Vine), 
Philadelphia, PA 19102
WEDNESDAY – April 3, 2019
7:00 PM
$12
Greek Film Night
Co-sponsored by the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia
Greek with English subtitles

Short Film:
Pontian Genocide by Vassiliki Tsanaktsidou

Feature Film:
Jamaica

Landmark Ritz V
214 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

THURSDAY – April 4, 2019
Tickets from $545th Annual Greek Heritage Night at the Sixers
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League
76’ers vs. Bucks
Wells Fargo Center
3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia PA
https://www.fevo.com/edp/76ers-vs-Bucks–Greek-Heritage-Night-3e3UJuo
FRIDAY – April 5, 2019
1:00 PM
Open to Public
Free
Opening Ceremonies and Raising of the Greek Flag
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Philadelphia City Hall
Reception
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Mayor’s Reception Room
6:00 PMMemorial Service for Pontian Genocide
Presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, PA 19082
7:00 PM4th Salutations Service
Presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, PA 19082
SUNDAY – April 7 2019
9:30 AMHierarchical Divine Liturgy and Official Great Doxology
Presided by His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey
St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral
256 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
12:00 PMDignitaries Luncheon
Coffee Hour Reception
1:00 PMGreek Independence Parade – Formation
Inclement Weather Number: 856-665-2085
17th and Parkway, Philadelphia
2:00 PMGreek Independence Parade – Start
Reviewing Stand: On Parkway prior to Art Museum Drive
4:30 PMAfter Parade Reception & Dance Performances
Hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, PA 19082
ADDITIONAL EVENTS

A 15-minute presentation, co-sponsored by the Federation and the Pontian Society, will be available to present to local Greek Schools throughout March on the history of the Pontian Genocide and its importance. All area Greek Schools will be offered this free presentation to their students.

STARTING/FORMATION AREA (Formation time is 1:00 PM)

  • 18th Street and Race Street (along the Ben Franklin Parkway)
  • First groups will form at 19th and Logan Circle on the Parkway and all other groups will continue forming behind them towards City Hall on the Parkway

MARCH ROUTE (Starting time of Parade is 2:00 PM sharp)

  • Parade will begin at 19th and Logan Circle
  • Parade will move NW along the Ben Franklin Parkway
  • Parade will go past the reviewing stand near Eakins Oval near the front of the Art Museum

REVIEW STAND

  • Before Eakins Oval along the Parkway prior to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

INCLEMENT WEATHER

  • In the case of inclement weather on the day of the parade, please call (856) 665-2085. A decision will be made by 10:00 AM.

 

Please obey all Philadelphia police officers and Federation Parade Line-up coordinators.

FORMATION

  • Group/marchers will begin forming at 1:00 PM.
  • Parade will begin at 2:00 PM sharp.
  • Any group arriving late MUST form at the end of the line.
  • The City of Philadelphia’s Parade Permit is for a limited to and the parade must commence on time.

BUSES (If arriving by bus)

  • Instruct bus driver to drop off AT BEGINNING OF Parkway towards City Hall.
  • Bus driver must park at 21st and Ben Franklin Parkway on the Parkway.

PARADE DRESS

  • Wear any of the following:
    • Men in dark suits with white shirts and blue ties;
    • Women in blue and white;
    • Ethnic costumes or uniforms
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Wear appropriate coats (remember the wind!)

 

Note: This is our day to show our fellow Americans our Hellenic pride and culture and to promote Greek Independence, the eyes of the City will be upon us! March in orderly fashion, smile, wave your hands or flags BOTH GREEK AND AMERICAN FLAGS (remember, it is this great country that allows us to celebrate our Hellenic culture) and keep our young children in line. We encourage our very young children to participate in the parade, but we ask that you limit the number of baby carriages/strollers.

 

FLAGS

You may order Greek/American flags and sashes by calling Federation Secretary Maria Agatsiotis (484) 574-1401.

 

FLOATS

If your church or organization is interested in renting a float, you may contact:

Bond Floats at (973)778-3333

INCLEMENT WEATHER

In case of inclement weather, a decision whether to march will be made by 10:00 AM on the day of the parade. You MUST call (856) 665-2085 after 10:00 AM to hear the decision.

FLAGS

  1. Veterans of Foreign War, Eleftheria Post #6633
  2. Philadelphia Raider Drum and Bugle Corps

GENERAL/BANNERS

  1. Icon of Annunciation – Annunciation Church of Elkins Park
  2. Agia Lavra – Palaion Patron Germanos
  3. Icon of Annunciation – Evangelismos of Theotokos, Philadelphia
  4. Panagia Soumela
  5. Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley banner
  6. Metropolis of New Jersey banner

DIGNITARIES

  1. His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey
  2. GRAND MARSHAL and ELEFTHERIA MEDAL RECIPIENT:
    Honorable Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul General of Greece in New York
  3. Georgia Halakos, President of the Federation and Mr. Demetrios Halakos
  4. Georgia Chletcos, Parade Chair
  5. MILITARY (ATTACHES)
  6. HONORARY MARSHALS:
    Kyriakos Mossaidis and Ifigenia Pavlidou-Ikonomou
  7. Past Grand Marshals and Eleftheria Medal Recipients
  8. Federation officers/board members/past presidents and other dignitaries
  9. The Order of St. Andrew (Archons)
  10. Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board
  11. George Loucas, Supreme President Order of Ahepa and Kathy Bizoukas, Grand Secretary Daughters of Penelope
  12. AHEPA Supreme and District Lodges of Pennsylvania and New Jersey/Delaware
  13. The Presidential Guard of Greece (EVZONES)
  14. Odyssey Charter School
  15. Pontian Society “Akritai”
  16. Pontian Society Float

PARISHES

  1. St. Nicholas, Bethlehem, PA
  2. St. George, Piscataway, NJ
  3. St. Demetrios, Union, NJ
  4. St. Sophia, Norristown, PA
  5. St. Demetrios, Wildwood, NJ
  6. St. Nicholas, Atlantic City, NJ
  7. Holy Trinity, Egg Harbor, NJ
  8. Evangelismos of Theotokos, Philadelphia, PA
  9. St. Anthony, Vineland, NJ
  10. St. Thomas, Cherry Hill, NJ
  11. Saint Thomas Float
  12. St. George, Media, PA
  13. St. Demetrios, Upper Darby, PA
  14. St. George Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA
  15. Evangelismos, Easton, PA
  16. St. Luke, Broomall, PA
  17. Holy Trinity, Wilmington, DE
  18. Holy Trinity Float
  19. St. George, Trenton, NJ
  20. St. Anna, Flemington, NJ
  21. Holy Cross, Stroudsburg, PA
  22. Saints Constantine and Helen, Reading, PA
  23. Annunciation, Lancaster, PA
  24. St. Mathew, Blandon, PA (first in 2017 parade)
  25. Annunciation/Evangelismos, Elkins Park, PA (first in 2018)

SOCIETIES/ORGANIZATIONS

  1. Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America “Atheras” Chapter
  2. Nafpaktian Society
  3. Peloponnesian Society
  4. Pieria Society
  5. Ladies Pieria Society
  6. Cyprus Brotherhood of Philadelphia
  7. Cretans of Delaware Valley Knossos Chapter
  8. Epirotes Omonia Society
  9. Brotherhood of Demati Society
  10. Epirotes Float
  11. United Chios Society “O Korais” Chapter
  12. Andriotes Society
  13. Evrytanian Society
  14. Velvendinon Society
  15. Hellenic University Club
  16. Hellenic Medical Society
  17. Daughters of Penelope Upper Darby
  18. Thermopylae Chapter AHEPA
  19. Camden Chapter AHEPA
  20. Hercules Spartan #26 AHEPA
  21. Chester – Delco AHEPA
  22. AHEPA Float
  23. Agnes Irwin School Greek Club
  24. Armenian Society of Philadelphia
  25. Federation of Hellenic Student Societies of Philadelphia
  26. Temple Hellenic Student Society
  27. Villanova University Hellenic Society
  28. Drexel University Student Organization
  29. University of Pennsylvania Students Organization
  30. Saint Joseph’s University Hellenic Students
  31. University of Delaware “OPAH”
  32. MUMMERS
  33. Delaware Valley Hellenic American Police Officers
  34. Philadelphia Greek Basketball League (first in 2017 parade)
  35. Pan-Macedonian Society “Pavlos Melas” (first in 2018 parade)
  36. Pan-Macedonian Society “Amalia”
  37. Pan-Macedonian Society “Youth of Alexander”
  38. Hellenic Motorcycle Club (last by request)
  39. Pontian Society Akritai Dance Group (closing the parade)

 

Note: All churches are grouped together. All societies and organizations are grouped together. Each year they move up one position within the group. Any church or society, which arrives late, shall be placed at the end of the parade. Formation of the parade begins at 1:00 pm and the parade shall commence 2:00 pm.

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