196 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: Presidential Proclamation – Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2016

FRIDAY – March 31, 2017
1:30 PM Raising of the Greek Flag
The ceremony of raising the Greek flag and singing of the National Hymns of Greece and America with the presence of the Evzones, in the Historic Hall of the City of Philadelphia with the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and Consulate General of Greece Konstantinos Koutras.
3:00 PM Dinner
Hosted by the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley.
5:30 PM Departure to St. Thomas Church
Service for the Akathist Hymn; presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.
St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church
615 Mercer St, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
SATURDAY – April 1, 2017
3:00 PM Lunch
Hosted by the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley.
7:00 PM Reception
Given by the Parish of St. Demetrios Church at the Social Hall of the Church; honoring the Officials and Grand Marshals with the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, Council General of Greece in New York, and Council General of Cyprus.
Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, PA
SUNDAY – April 2, 2017
9:00 AM Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Official Great Doxology for the Greek Independence Day
Celebrated by His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.
St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral
256 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
12:30 PM Reception hosted by St. George Cathedral in Philadelphia
St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral
256 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
2:00 PM Greek Independence Day Parade
Formation Time: 1:00 PM
Starting Time: 2:00 PM
Starting Point: 17th and Parkway
Reviewing Stand: On Parkway prior to Art Museum Drive
Inclement Weather Number: 856-665-2085
4:30 PM Reception & Dance Performances
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, PA
Hosted by St. Demetrios

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 purchase flags at (call early since they may have to order the Greek flags):

Oakwood Uniform and Equipment Co.
Telephone: (856) 779-7680 & (856) 429-4534
Fax: (856) 779-0176 & (856) 427-0543

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.

The following is a draft of a proposed Parade Line Up.

 

GENERAL

  1. Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eleftheria Post #6633
  2. Icon of Annunciation – Annunciation Church of Elkins Park
  3. Icon of Annunciation – Evangelismos Tis Theotokou, Bustleton Avenue
  4. Agia Lavra – Palaion Patron Germanos
  5. Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley Banner
  6. Metropolis of New Jersey Banner
  7. His Eminence Metropolitan of New Jersey Evangelos
    Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney
  8. GRAND MARSHAL: Demetrios Halakos
  9. HONORARY MARSHALS:
    Jan Spanos – Grand President, Daughters of Penelope
    Andrew Zachariades – Supreme President, AHEPA
  10. ELEFTHERIA MEDAL RECIPIENT
  11. Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley officers, board members and dignitaries
  12. AHEPA SUPREME AND DISTRICT LODGES OF PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY & DELAWARE
  13. The Presidential Guard Of The Nation Of Greece – The Evzones
  14. Odyssey Charter School

CHURCHES

  1. St. Mathew, Blandon, PA
  2. Annunciation / Evangelismos, Elkins Park, 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 Tis Theotokou, Philadelphia, PA
  8. St. Anthony, Vineland, NJ
  9. St. Thomas, Cherry Hill, NJ
  10. FLOAT St. Thomas
  11. St. George, Media, PA
  12. St. Demetrios, Upper Darby, PA
  13. FLOAT St. Demetrios
  14. St. George Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA
  15. Evangelismos, Easton, PA
  16. St. Luke, Broomall, PA
  17. Holy Trinity, Wilmington, DE
  18. St. George, Trenton, NJ
  19. St. Anna, Flemington, NJ
  20. Holy Cross, Stroudsburg, PA
  21. Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, Reading, PA
  22. St. Nicholas, Bethlehem, PA
  23. Annunciation, Lancaster, PA (was first in parade in 2016)

SOCIETIES / ORGANIZATIONS

  1. Philadelphia Greek Basketball League
  2. PGBL FLOAT
  3. Pan-Icarian Brotherhood of America Atheras Chapter
  4. Nafpaktian Society
  5. Peloponnesian Society
  6. Pieria Society
  7. Ladies Pieria Society
  8. Cyprus Brotherhood of Philadelphia
  9. Pan-Macedonian Association “Pavlos Melas”
  10. Pan-Macedonian Association “Amalia”
  11. Pan-Macedonian Association “Youth of Alexander”
  12. Cretans of Delaware Valley Knossos Chapter
  13. Daughters of Penelope Upper Darby and Nike Chapters
  14. Thermopylae Chapter #445 AHEPA
  15. Camden Chapter #69 AHEPA
  16. Hercules/Spartan Chapter AHEPA
  17. AHEPA FLOAT
  18. Epirotes Omonia Society
  19. Brotherhood of Demati Society
  20. United Chios Society “O Korais” Chapter
  21. Andriotes Society
  22. Evrytanian Society
  23. Velvendinon Society
  24. Hellenic University Club
  25. Hellenic Medical Society
  26. Agnes Irwin School Greek Club
  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. St. Joseph’s University Hellenic Students
  33. University of Delaware OPAH
  34. Delaware Valley Hellenic American Police Officers (first in 2016 parade)
  35. Pontian Society “Akritai” (next to last by request)
  36. 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. The parade shall commence 2:00 PM.

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