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GreekReporter.comDiasporaGeorge Karlaftis Is the Grand Master of the Greek New York Parade

George Karlaftis Is the Grand Master of the Greek New York Parade

Karlaftis Greek New York Parade
New York Greek Independence Day Parade 2023. Credit: GreekReporter

George Karlaftis, who just won his second Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, will be the Grand Master of the New York Parade to honor Greek independence, organizers announced on Thursday.

The 2024 Greek Independence Parade Weekend will consist of the Flag Raising at Bowling Green on Friday, April 12th, the Gala on April 13th, and the Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City on April 14th.

Karlaftis and the New York Greek parade

Thousands of Greek-Americans and others are expected to descend onto Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to watch the traditional parade and participate in the festivities to mark the anniversary of the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Turks.

The annual event, a celebration of Hellenic identity, culture, and achievements in the world, is organized and hosted by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, a non-profit organization committed to fostering an appreciation of Greek-American heritage and achievement.

Last year, George M. Logothetis, Executive Chairman of Libra Group, was the Grand Marshal of the parade, and he walked along Archibishop Elpidophoros, Greek Ambassador to the US Alexandra Papadopoulou, and other dignitaries.

“As a proud Greek-American, it is an honor to be named a Grand Marshal for New York’s Greek Independence Day Parade,” said Logothetis.

Karlaftis’ rise to the top

Karlaftis, a proud Greek American, was instrumental in the Chiefs’ win against the San Francisco 49ers with a score of 25-22 in February. Karlaftis’ impact was felt immediately, recovering a Christian McCaffrey fumble to end San Francisco’s first drive.

Karlaftis has started 33 regular season games in his first two seasons and has 16.5 career sacks in addition to two Super Bowl wins.

He is 6’4″ and weighs 263 pounds. He is indeed huge compared to most humans, but perhaps his abnormality in American football is that he may be a bit undersized. Some questioned if he could compete against the many top players of the NFL. It turns out observers find him relentless.

George Karlaftis’ father, Matt, a javelin thrower, was a star in track and field at the University of Miami. His father, while attending graduate school, met his mother Amy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue has an unsung relationship with Greece and Greek-Americans.

George’s parents returned to Athens, where his father became a professor. The family had four children. Everything changed, however, when their father died of a heart attack while traveling for work at age forty-four. Within days, their mother, Amy, moved the children back to Indiana, where she had more support.

It was in Indiana that George, who played many sports in Greece, fell in love with American football.

RelatedGeorge Karlaftis: The Greek Freak of American Football?

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