Greek Independence Day Parade

Greek Independence Day
Parade and Celebration
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
2187 West 14th St. Cleveland
March 30, 2024

Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood was teeming with the blue and white of the Greek flag, as hundreds of celebrants paraded around Lincoln Park in celebration of the 203rd anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution of 1821. Upon the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, Ottoman forces occupied Greece and for the next 368 years, Greece was a province of the Empire. On the 25th of March 1821, Bishop Germanos III of Patras in a sermon exhorted the Greeks to revolt against the Empire, blessed the blue and white flag with a cross with holy water and proclaimed revolution.

In this short video, Pothitos Pitychoutis who was born in Greece and now lives in Dayton, told us about the symbolism of the Greek flag. The blue is for truth, loyalty and justice and the blue color of the Greek sea. The white is for peace and honesty and the white colors of Greece's waves crust.

There are nine stripes which stand for the nine syllables of the Greek phrase which translates to Freedom or Death. The equal-armed cross in the upper left of the flag symbolizes the Greek Orthodox Church which has had a major role in the fight for independence against the Ottomans.

Greece earned its independence from the Ottomans in 1826 with the help of the British, French, and Russian Empires. The country finally won full independence for all of its islands and provinces with the signing of the Treaty of Sevres in 1820 and the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Greater Cleveland is the home of over 20,000 Americans of Greek heritage, and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest church, or mother church of Greek Orthodoxy in the area. The linkage of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on March 25th, and the Greek Revolution are very sacred to the Greek people, since the church sanctioned the Revolution.

On March 30, 2024, there was a doxology, church service, at Annunciation Church.

Greek chuch doxology

Then the parade through the Tremont neighborhood around Lincoln Park.

Greek Parade 2024

The parade featured young children from the areas dance troupes and Greek schools also dressed in traditional costumes of the various regions of Greece. In addition to the four Greek Orthodox Churches in the Cleveland area, a delegation from Dayton joined the parade as did various organizations sponsor entries including: The Hellenic Preservation Society, and societies from these Greek communities: Pontian, Chios, Samos, Crete, Phoenix, Icaria, and Nafpaktian among others.

Here are some highlights of the Parade starting with the start of the Parade as they left Annunciation Church and began their march around Lincoln Park and then arrived back at the Church traveling along West 14th Street.

See a page full of photos from the Greek Parade

After the Parade, many of the young people gathered on the steps of Annunciation Church for photos and to sing a song.

Greek Independence Day group on Annunciation Church steps

Greek Independence Day group on Annunciation Church steps

Greek Independence Day group on Annunciation Church steps

Greek Independence Day group on Annunciation Church steps

Watch a video of the kids on the Church steps.

After the parade, the group assembled at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church hall where the festivities included youth groups dancing traditional dances from the respective regions of Greece with the crowd enjoying Lenten delicacies provided by the Festival Committee and Philoptochos Society (Friends of the Poor).

Greek group with Priest

Phoenix Pontian group

Youth with priest and Greek flag

Charlie and Fotini Hliatzos

Charlie and Fotini Hliatzos

Greek father and son

Crowded Greek hall

See a page full of photos from the Greek Parade


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