DETROIT, MI – The Greek community of Detroit and the surrounding communities of Michigan on March 25 proudly celebrated Greek Independence Day with the parade on the historic Monroe Street in Greektown, ignoring the cold temperatures.
As a rule, the Detroit parade is held on the Sunday closest to the national holiday, and this year for the first time in several years it happened to be on March 25th and the enthusiasm, as Yanni Dionisopoulos, president of the Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade Committee said, was great.
The celebrations for the 197th anniversary of Greek Independence began on March 24 with Greek Night organized by Exodos, the Greek bar and restaurant – which aimed to strengthen the student associations in the area.
On Sunday morning, the community attended the Divine Liturgy and the Doxology presided over by Fr. George Manias the Dean of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Detroit. Fr. Manias also conveyed the blessings of Detroit’s Metropolitan Nicholas, who, due to commitments, could not attend this year’s March 25th events.
Immediately afterwards the well-attended reception was held at the Atheneum Hotel.
The parade began at 3 in the afternoon with twenty sections and three floats. The Grand Marshal of the parade was the businessman and supporter of the Hellenic Museum of Detroit and other institutions, Lambros Stassinos.
Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson, Mayor of Grosse Pointe Farms Louis Theros, Parade Committee President Dionisopoulos, Grand Marshal Stassinos, and other members of the committee offered their greetings.
Stassinos spoke to The National Herald about the success of the parade and noted that “the community in Detroit maintains its Greek.”
Asked about the marchers and attendees, he pointed out that their numbers exceeded two thousand and praised the tireless efforts of the parade committee and the president Dionisopoulos.
Mr. Dionisopoulos noted that the parade is always organized by the Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade Committee, which is an independent and non-profit organization.
Asked about the particularities of this year’s parade, he pointed out that the presence of the new generation, especially school students, members of GOYA and student associations, made a definite impression.
“We thank the sponsors of the parade, who every year support our efforts, but the greatest blessing and thanks, we owe is to the Greeks who defied the cold and made the difference,” said Dionisopoulos marched with his wife Elisa and their just two-year-old son Alexandros who was dressed as an Evzone.
Dionisopoulos is a restaurateur and belongs to the second generation of the owners of the renowned Golden Fleece restaurant.
As he noted, the restaurant was opened in 1971 by his father and his father’s brother, Vasilis and Nikos Dionisopoulos, and is now run by their children.