BOSTON, MA – Under a blue sky and sunny day, Boston’s 23rd annual Greek Independence Parade took place on April 22. It began at 1PM in front of the Prudential Tower near the Boston Public Library marched on Boylston Street and ended across of Four Seasons Hotel.
Hundreds of Greek School students dressed in colorful traditional Greek costumes holding Greek and American flags, accompanied by their teachers and parents, shouted “Long lives Greece!” while the bands were playing patriotic music.
Attending were Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential Nominee Michael Dukakis with his wife, Kitty, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Lowell Mayor William Samaras, Consul General of Greece Stratos Ethimiou, Pylos-Nestor Mayor and VP of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece Dimitris Kafantaris, Vasilios Kafkas president of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of New England.
More than sixty units marched along with well-constructed floats, as thousands of spectators from Boston and all across New England enjoyed the parade.
The local group of Evzones added more enthusiasm and meaning to the parade depicting the braveness of the heroes of March 25, 1821. A cultural event with dances from six Greek-American Dance Groups took place at the Boston Common.
A doxology was offered in the morning after the Divine Liturgy at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Boston. A coffee reception followed offered by the Federation to the entire congregation.
On April 21, the annual parade dinner hosted by the Federation was a sold-out event. It took place at Boston Cathedral Community Center in Brookline. Konstantinos Travagiakis welcomed the attendees, Metropolitan Methodios offered the invocation, Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis was Emcee, and Vivian Douglas sang the Greek and American national anthems.
Renowned author and journalist Nicholas Gage was the keynote speaker; the theme was “Fulfilling the Promise of 1821.”
The Freedom Award was awarded to Boston University Medical School professors Vasilios Zannis. He was introduced by this former student and currently professors of Pharmacology at Temple University Konstantinos Drosados.
The Metropolis of Boston Dance Group performed traditional Greek dances under the direction of Dr. John Pappas. The Group is comprised of Chris Chronopoulos, Maria Theodore, Victoria Zahopoulos, Evangelia Vassiliades, Bostony Braoudakis, Paul Tsiomplikas, Nikos Potamitis, Thano Danas, Harry Theodore, Dimitra Danas, Evangelos Meltsakos, Angelika Kartsagoulis, Efthalia Pelekoudas, Maria Apostle and Thespina Hamos.
Four students received scholarships:The Federation’s scholarship was given in memory of its former president George Markakos to Marinos Blanas. The Harry Katis scholarship went to Nicole Maimonis and Marianna Tsoumbanos and the Dr. Cnstantinos Hionidis scholarship was given to Vasileios Papadopoulos.
On April 20 an event took place at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, followed by a reception at the Consulate General of Greece which is located on short distance from the State House.