BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade returns to Eastern Avenue in Baltimore’s Greektown on Sunday, March 27, 2 PM, with Grand Marshals Andy and Mike Manatos of Manatos & Manatos. Constantine M. Frangos of the Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade Committee spoke with The National Herald about the highly anticipated parade celebrating 201 years of Greek Independence.
TNH: How long did the process take to organize this year’s parade?
Constantine M. Frangos: Each year, we usually begin to organize at least 4-5 months before the parade. This year has been more challenging, since the last time we had the parade was in 2019. Also, there was some uncertainty due to the Omicron variant. At the time we began organizing, cases were very high in the U.S. Our main concern was obtaining permits from Baltimore City and potentially having to enforce COVID restrictions. We didn’t want to have to cancel the parade again for the third year in a row. At the beginning of February, after we determined that we could get the permits and the situation with COVID was improving, we announced the parade and invited groups to participate.
TNH: What has been the response so far from the local community and the Greek associations?
CF: The response so far has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, more so than previous years. Everyone is excited to have the parade back after three years. We didn’t get to celebrate the bicentennial of Greek Independence last year, so we are looking forward to celebrating it this year.
TNH: What can we expect at this year’s parade?
CF: This year’s Grand Marshals are Andy and Mike Manatos of Manatos & Manatos. His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia will also be in attendance. Music for the parade will be provided by the Hellenic Philharmonic Society of New York. Groups from nearly all parishes in the Baltimore-Washington region will be participating. We will also have many Hellenic organizations marching, such as AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Laconian Society of Washington DC, and United Chian Societies of Baltimore. Local politicians, marching bands, and dance groups will also be participating. The parade will conclude with a special performance by our Evzones in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
TNH: How many groups will be marching?
CF: We expect to have approximately 50 groups marching this year.
More information about the parade is available by phone: 443-267-4735 and online: http://www.greekparade.com/main.htm.