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AHEPA to Host Tarpon Springs Epiphany Banquet with Elpidophoros

Tarpon Springs Epiphany
Archbishop Elpidophoros blesses the young man who retrieved the cross from the waters of Tarpon Springs, Florida at the January 2021 Epiphany celebration. Credit: GOARCH

The United States’ oldest Greek fraternal order, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) will hold its annual Epiphany banquet in Tarpon Springs Florida on January 5, 2022.

Celebrating the great feast of Epiphany, when Orthodox Christians believe Christ was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist, the banquet will take place at the Spanos Hellenic Center at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will be in attendance, as will His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta in celebration of Epiphany and the 100th Anniversary of the Order of AHEPA.

Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs huge annual event for the city

Basil N. Mossaidis, the organization’s Executive Director, notes that this will be the 88th Annual Epiphany event in the Greek enclave of Tarpon Springs, and together with the Archdiocese of America, AHEPA will celebrate being the “Twin Pillars of Hellenism in America” at the January fete.

Since this is a very special event and the only dinner His Eminence will be attending as part of the festivities, it is imperative that anybody who would like to attend make reservations as soon as possible.

Tickets and reservations can be secured by contacting Brother John Lelekis, President of AHEPA Epiphany City Chapter 16 in Tarpon Springs via email at or by calling him at +1 (727) 282-8292. The organizers say to please be sure to leave a message if Lelekis is unable to answer your call immediately and he will get back to everyone.

Archbishop Elpidophoros and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the world’s largest Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs this past January, marking a return of the  festivities after a year of more stringent restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Hunter Sakadales, who was eighteen years old, dove into the water and victoriously retrieved the cross on January 6, 2021 as part of the scaled-down celebration.

It is believed that as many as 25,000 people attended the celebrations, in what was certainly the largest-ever Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration, despite officials attempting to limit the number of those watching the events.

A massive ”Glenti” follows the annual dive for the cross, where thousands enjoy traditional Greek food and drinks as part of the great feast of Epiphany, celebrated every January 6th.

Archbishop Elpidophoros had invited Prime Minister Mitsotakis to visit the town on Epiphany, one day before he met with US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC.

The Greek Orthodox Christian celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated with great fanfare each year in Tarpon Springs, is the largest of its kind in the entire world.


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