Local Greek-American school children were present to sing the Greek and American national anthems during the raising of the flags outside the Stathakion, the headquarters of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater , which organizes the Greek Parade on Fifth Avenue, which is only a day away.
Dimitra Karasavides of the Pontian Society “Komninoi” was the MC for the dance program, which began with the Greek American Folklore Society led by Vagia Allagianis, Artistic Director GAFS’s members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Greek culture. She told TNH “we are proud of the adults and the children, and we appreciate the parents who take the time to bring their children,” the GAFS and the other group. She is espically proud of GAFS authentic Greek costumes, some of which are more than 100 years old.
The GAFS were followed by the dance troupe of the A. Fantis School of Brooklyn, led by Michelle Tsiagridas. Among those who followed were groups representing: Cephalos, led by Kiki Liosa; the Kastorians led by Despina Hatzoglou; Erikousa, led by Toula Anastasiou; Holy Resurrection Church of Brookville, led by Maria Pariarou; KOMNINOI, led by Tsarsitalides; St. Demetrios School of Astoria, led by Demetri Balcan; Cretan Dance Group of Omonia & Minos, led by Eleni Sopasi; the Pancyprian, led by Constantinos Polidorou; Pan Lemnian Society, led by Allagianis; Chians, led by Petros Fourniotis; St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of West Babylon, led by Matina Panagas; Pontian Society “PONTOS” of Norwalk, led by Damian Togridis, and the Sons and Daughters of Alexander the Great Pan-Macedonia Dance Group, led by George Papadopoulos.
The leader of the Evzones told TNH this is the third time he has accompanied them to America. This year “I feel the same as the first time I came in 2005. It’s very touching to see the enthusiasm of the community. When a guest carrying his umbrella for rainy day told him that the Evzones are the sun and warmth of the parade, he smiled and said “the sun will come out.”
Elias Tsekerides, the president of the Federation, told TNH he was happy the flag raising is taking place at the Stathakion for the first time.
“Fifth Avenue will be blue and white tomorrow. Bring your Greek and American flags. We are ready for the parade and with our messages about Greece, and of course about the 40 year occupation of Cyprus, which is unacceptable.