201 years ago, on March 25, 1821, the Greek Revolutionary Forces raised the standard of the cross and declared that Greece would be free from 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 showed the world that courage was indeed the word of Greek invention and lived their motto: “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.


Read also: President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Proclaims March 25, 2021, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy


Greek Independence Day Parade in Philadelphia, 2012 - Image courtesy of Eleftherios Kostans / Cosmos Philly
Greek Independence Day Parade in Philadelphia, 2012 – Image courtesy of Eleftherios Kostans / Cosmos Philly

Program of Events

FRIDAY – March 18, 2022

1:00 pm – Raising of the Greek Flag at the North Apron, Philadelphia City Hall 

SATURDAY – March 19, 2022

6:00 pm – Eleftheria Award and Dignitaries Banquet

Adelphia Restaurant – Clements Bridge Road, Deptford, NJ 
$75 per personReservations at HellenicFed.org via PayPal 

Introduction of Dignitaries:

  • His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidoforos, Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
  • Grand Marshal Georgia Athanasopulos, Honorable Consul to Panama in Philadelphia 
  • Honorary Marshals AHEPA President Jimmy Kokotas and Daughters of Penelope Grand Kathy Bizoukas 
  • 2022 Eleftheria Award recipient – George G. Horiates, Esq. 

SUNDAY, March 20, 2022 

10:00 am – Archhierarchical Divine Liturgy and Official Great Doxology Celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidoforos, Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and His Grace Bishop Apostolos of  Medeia 

Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint George
256 South 8th Street, Philadelphia

12:30 pm – Dignitaries’ Luncheon at the Cathedral 

Coffee Hour Reception (open to the public)
Hosted by St. George Cathedral in honor of its Centennial, Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrose Bitziadis 

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 

Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church


Parade Route

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

The parade will begin at 19th and Logan Circle.

The parade will move NW along the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The parade will go past the reviewing stand near Eakins Oval near the front of the Art Museum.

REVIEW STAND

The review stand is 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.


Parade Instructions

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 time as the Parkway is a major artery. Thus, 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 drivers must park at 21st and Ben Franklin Parkway on the Parkway. 

PARADE DRESS

Please wear any of the following: 

  • Men in dark suits with white shirts and blue ties; 
  • Women in blue and white; 
  • Ethnic costumes or uniforms 
  • Comfortable shoes 
  • 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 an orderly fashion, smile, wave your hands or flags BOTH GREEK AND AMERICAN FLAGS (remember, this great Greek-inspired City gave the greatest contributions towards the Greek War of  Independence) 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.

FLOATS

If your church or organization is interested in renting a float, you may contact Bond Floats AT at (973)778-3333.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

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


Parade Line-up

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

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. Panagia Soumela 
  6. Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware  Valley banner 
  7. Metropolis of New Jersey banner 

Presidential Guard (The EVZONES) 

DIGNITARIES

  1. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidoforos of America, Exarch of the  Atlantic and Pacific Oceans 
  2. Escorted by His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, Metropolis of New  Jersey 
  3. GRAND MARSHAL and ELEFTHERIA MEDAL RECIPIENT:
    The Honorable Georgia Athanasopulos, Honorable Consul to Panama in Philadelphia
    George Horiates, Esq. Eleftheria Award Recipient
  4. CENTENNIAL HONORARY MARSHALS:
    Jimmy Kokotas, Supreme President Order of AHEPA
    Kathy Bizoukas, Grand President Daughters of Penelope 13. Past Grand Marshals and Eleftheria Medal Recipients
  5. Past Grand Marshals and Eleftheria Medal Recipients
  6. Philadelphia Raider Drum and Bugle Corps  
  7. Federation officers/board members / past presidents and other dignitaries
  8. Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos Board 
  9. AHEPA District Lodges of Pennsylvania and New Jersey /Delaware
  10. Odyssey Charter School 

PARISHES

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

SOCIETIES/ORGANIZATIONS

  1. Nafpaktian Society 
  2. Peloponnesian Society 
  3. Pieria Society 
  4. Ladies Pieria Society 
  5. Cyprus Brotherhood of Philadelphia 
  6. Cretans of Delaware Valley Knossos Chapter
  7. Epirotes Omonia Society 
  8. Brotherhood of Demati Society  
  9. Epirotes Float 
  10. United Chios Society “O Korais” Chapter
  11. Andriotes Society 
  12. Evrytanian Society 
  13. Velvendinon Society 
  14. Hellenic University Club 
  15. Hellenic Medical Society 
  16. Daughters of Penelope Upper Darby 
  17. Thermopylae Chapter AHEPA 
  18. Camden Chapter AHEPA 
  19. Hercules Spartan #26 AHEPA 
  20. Chester –Delco AHEPA 
  21. Vineland – South Jersey AHEPA 
  22. Valley Forge AHEPA 
  23. Wilmington, DE AHEPA 
  24. AHEPA FLOAT  
  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. Pan Icarian Brotherhood of America “Atheras” chapter
  35. MUMMERS 
  36. Delaware Valley Hellenic American Police Officers 
  37. Philadelphia Greek Basketball League 
  38. Pan Macedonian Society “Pavlos Melas” 
  39. Pan Macedonian Society “Amalia” 
  40. Pan Macedonian Society “Youth of Alexander” 
  41. Hellenic Motorcycle Club 
  42. Pontian Society “Akritai”
  43. Pontian Society “Akritai” Dance Group (closing the parade)

Parade order schedule to change based on Theme of Parade and Honorees.