Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Greeks celebrate Independence Day with parade on Detroit News

Detroit --Greektown became the heart of cultural pride Sunday afternoon when thousands of Greek- Americans and others flocked to the historic district for the 11th annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade.
Parade-goers donned vibrant costumes representing different sections of the Hellenic Republic and waved Greek and American flags up and down a half-mile stretch of Monroe Avenue.
Highlights included live music, courtesy of local marching bands, and vintage cars, including a 1939 Cadillac Fleetwood that caught the eye of many bystanders.
The event commemorates Greece's rise against the Ottoman Turks in 1821 after being held in slavery for 400 years.
Best friends Hannah Avdoulos, 16, and Stefanie Papasoglu, 17, joined in the parade as members of the local Greek dance group affiliated with the Nativity of the Virgin Mary of the Greek Orthodox Church in Plymouth.
They wore traditional costumes from Greece's Mani Peninsula.
Avdoulos, who has performed with the group for three years, said she comes from a long line of Greek dancers.
"It's a great way to keep up with the community and it's a great way to embrace my culture," she said.
Stefanie Papasoglu said her mother, Yianna, is constantly reminding her and her friends about the Greek origins of mathematic phrases and words commonly used in American culture.
Yianna Papasoglu, who has taught at a local Greek school, said it's important for youths to know their history.
She said she's not that much different than the culturally prideful parent in the hit film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
"I believe everyone should be proud of who they are," she said.
More than 5,000 people have annually flocked to the parade since 2001, said Joan De Ronne, a coordinator and member of the parade's committee.
The parade mirrored similar events held Sunday in Greece.

Detroit's Greek Independence Day Parade winds through Greektown on DETROIT FREE PRESS

Detroit's Greektown was a whirlwind of activity Sunday with dancers in colorful costumes, floats, marching bands and vintage cars on display for the 11th annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade.
Under sunny skies, thousands of people watched the festivities commemorating the anniversary of Greece's independence after 400 years of Ottoman rule.
"We've been coming to this event every year since it started," said Eleni Dionyssopoulos of Grosse Ile, who, with her husband, Stavros Dionyssopoulos, and three children -- all in red and white mainland Greek dress -- prepared to march in the parade with other members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Southgate.
"Obviously, we're very proud of our Greek ancestry, and it's important that our children learn about their heritage and carry on the legacy," she said.
"Today we acknowledge our Greek ancestors and their brave fight for independence," said Peter Panourgias, 53, of Troy, one of the organizers of the parade.
Standing along the parade route, Mike Mikha, 36, of Windsor was the image of pride and nationalism, draped in a large blue and white Greek flag.
"I'm expressing solidarity while celebrating Greek Independence Day," said Mikha, who attended the event with his wife and two children.
"My heritage is important to me, and today all Greeks share a common bond."

Taki Karras, 35, of Ferndale holds his daughter Evan Gelia, 2, on his shoulders as they attend the celebration in Greektown. "Today we acknowledge our Greek ancestors and their brave fight for independence," said Peter Panourgias.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

11th Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade

It is with very great pleasure and excitement that the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee would like to announce that the 11th Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade will be held on, Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Historic Greektown Detroit, on Monroe Street!

Each year our Greek community awaits for this special weekend with great anticipation and excitement! This weekend demonstrates the legacy of Hellenism and the preservation of the Greek culture. This year commemorates the 191st anniversary (March 25, 1821) of Greece’s independence after 400 years of Ottoman rule.

The Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade Weekend will be featuring a special performance by the famous Horeftikos Omilos Agiou, Evzones and Amalias of Agion – Peloponnesos, Greece, during each of the three below events.

The 2012 Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade Weekend:

The Hellenic Museum of Michigan Night
Friday, March 23, 2012, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
67 E. Kerby, Detroit, MI, across from the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Greek Independence Day Dinner Dance and the Hellenic Heritage Awards
Saturday, March 24, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
The Royalty House, 8201 E. 13 Mile Rd., Warren, MI
For tickets for this event: Tasos Tomaras (248) 377-2549 or Olga Cardasis (586) 779-6111

The 11th Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade
Sunday, March 25, 2012, 3:00 p.m.