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
History of the Pontian Genocide by Dr. Thomas Savvidis, University of Thessaloniki
Co-sponsored by the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia and the Pontian Society Akritai
TBD
WEDNESDAY – April 3, 2019
$20Greek Film Night
Pontian Genocide by Vassiliki Tsanaktsidou
Co-sponsored by the Hellenic University Club of Philadelphia
Greek Film supplied by NY Greek Film Organization
Landmark Ritz V
214 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
THURSDAY – April 4, 2019
Tickets from $545th Annual Greek Heritage Night at the Sixers
76’ers vs. Bucks
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League
Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia PA
FRIDAY – April 5, 2019
1:00 PMOpening Ceremonies and Raising of the Greek Flag
Philadelphia City Hall
3:30 PMMayor’s Reception Room
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
SATURDAY – April 6, 2019
6:00 PMFederation Parade Dignitaries Dinner
TBD
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.

GENERAL/BANNERS

  1. Veterans of Foreign War, Eleftheria Post #6633
  2. Icon of Annunciation – Annunciation Church of Elkins Park
  3. Icon of Annunciation – Evangelismos of Theotokos, Philadelphia
  4. Agia Lavra – Palaion Patron Germanos
  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: Dr. George Ahtaridis
  3. HONORARY MARSHALS: Hon. Konstantinos Koutras – Consul General of Greece in New York Carl Hollister – Supreme President AHEPA
  4. ELEFTHERIA MEDAL RECIPIENT: Mr. George Burlotos
  5. Past Grand Marshals and Eleftheria Medal Recipients
  6. Federation officers/board members / past presidents and other dignitaries
  7. AHEPA Supreme and District Lodges of Pennsylvania and New Jersey/Delaware
  8. Metropolis Marching Band
  9. Odyssey Charter School

PARISHES

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

SOCIETIES/ORGANIZATIONS

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

 

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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