The 193rd annual Greek Independence Day Parade, celebrating hellenic history and heritage in New York, will be held on March 30, at 1.30pm.
The parade will begin at the corner of 63rd Street and 5th Avenue and the participants will march to 79th Street. The parade will be attended by several bands and floats along with hundreds Greek organizations such as schools, communities, associations and federations.
The Greek Independence Day Parade is the largest gathering of Greek-Americans living outside Greece and has been an important tradition since 1938. Every year, it attracts over 100,000 spectators and has about 25,000 participants. It is a parade dedicated to the shared values between Greece and the U.S. and is a day of remembrance, honor and inspiration for all Greek-Americans.
This year’s parade themes are “The Hellenic Humanistic Ideals and Values, an antidote to the multifaceted global crisis,” a celebration for the eternal Greek values and ideals, and the “40 years of Occupation and Division of Cyprus – No More,” commemorating the coming 40th anniversary of Cyprus invasion by Turkey.
As Philip Christopher, member of the Parade Committee and President of the International Coordinating Committee ‘Justice for Cyprus’, said, “As we celebrate the 193rd anniversary of Greek Independence after 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire, we are all reminded that 38% of the small island Republic of Cyprus has been under occupation for 40 long years. It is unbelievable that the international community has remained silent to the greatest injustice in modern history. Turkey invaded the island in 1974, on the pretext of protecting the Turkish minority following a military coup in Nicosia led by Athens’ military junta, displacing tens of thousands Greek Cypriots from their homes, destroying 500 historical Christian churches and changed the demographics by importing colonists from Turkey. The spirit of 1821 lives in the hearts of the Greek-Cypriot people who are fighting to remove 43,000 Turkish troops and return to their ancestral homes.”
The Grand Marshals of the 193rd parade will be the U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and the U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Norway George Tsunis. Senator Schumer is honored for his services to the U.S. and the Great State of New York and he is an important supporter of the Greek-American Community and the Cyprus Issue. Ambassador Tsunis is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, an active member of the Greek-American Community and a philanthropist with contributions to various charities and organizations.
The parade will be organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, a non-profit organization established in 1938 and comprised of over 200 groups in the New York City area. Representing societies from over 100 regions in Greece, its aim is to preserve and promote Greek culture and heritage through cultural events and programs.