Thousands of people gathered along New York’s Fifth Avenue again on Sunday to watch the Greek Independence Day Parade.
The parade, which marks Greece’s 1821 declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire, runs each year along Fifth Avenue between East 64th and 79th streets.
It has gone on hiatus for the past two years due to the pandemic; however, Sunday’s event marked a grand return.
A unit of evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece, also paraded in New York. “They have traveled across the ocean to join us [and] march up Fifth Avenue, and to mark our pride and glory in the Independence of Greece,” Archibishop Elpidophoros said.
At Bowling Green, we raised the flag that embodies democracy and liberty. And we do so in the presence of the Presidential Guard of the Hellenic Republic – an inestimable honor for this most honorable occasion. @savanastasiadis @tzakri @ELiakouli @HSocieties @GreeceinNewYork pic.twitter.com/BVYTnxKGUr
— Elpidophoros (@Elpidophoros) June 4, 2022
More than eighty associations, unions, and communities addressed a wide call to their members, and as a result, Greek Americans of all ages paraded in the American city, which was dressed in blue and white, sending a strong message that “Hellenism is alive.”
Grand Marshals of the Greek parade in NYC
The Grand Marshals of this year’s parade were: His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America in recognition of the efforts and contributions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and in celebration of the Centennial since its founding in 1922; the Hellenic Caucus of the U.S. Congress and its co-chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Greek-American Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY); and Greek Olympic gold medalist Fani Chalkia.
In addition, the Honorary Grand Marshals of this year’s parade were: The great Greek-American organization AHEPA and its Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas, as this year, AHEPA celebrates its own Centennial with numerous contributions to Hellenism and Orthodoxy; the Cypriot organizations of the United States, namely the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations, the International Coordinating Committee, Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), and the Pancyprian Association of America along with their respective presidents, Kyriacos Papastylianou and Philip Christopher; the Chian organizations of the USA in commemoration of the Chian Massacre of 1822, 200 years after this tragic event, the Chian Federation, Panchian Society “Korais” and the United Chian Associations of America, as well as their respective presidents, Ioannis Kontolios, Panagiotis Gerazounis, and Dimitris Kontolios. Finally, Greek Olympic gold medalist Ioannis Melissanidis was also present.
NYC mayor Eric Adams was also present at the parade and proclaimed that “New York is the Athens of America.”