Thousands of Greeks have gathered in San Diego for the largest Greek Dance event in the US. The weekend began on Thursday, January 14 with an Agiasmos service to bless the convening of FDF. It was followed by the traditional Opening Ceremonies and procession of teams in the San Jose Civic Auditorium.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will honor the 34th Annual Folk Dance and Choral Festival in San Jose, California with his presence and attendance at the events throughout the weekend.
Dance and Choral groups will be participating in competition throughout the weekend on Friday, Saturday and final competition on Sunday. Centered around the theme “Family Takes Center Stage” the weekend will include a series of workshops offered by Metropolis Clergy and Youth Workers.
Saturday evening’s Cultural Night will feature stellar performances by the dance and choral groups who received the coveted Sweepstakes awards in 2009. A special presentation will be made by the Metropolis Committee on Greek Education and Culture where they will recognize students who have earned the Certificate of Attainment in the Greek Language. They will also be promoting a Greek Language Immersion Camp aimed for elementary school-aged youth being held at Saint Nicholas Ranch in June 2010. Another highlight of the Cultural Night will be the presentations of The Elios Society Award and the Patriarch Athenagoras I Humanitarian Award to deserving individuals in the Metropolis.
Keeping with the family theme, the evenings will include family-style Glendi’s featuring both young, local musicians who are actual products of the Folk Dance Festival and internationally renowned musicians from Greece coming solely to perform for this special weekend.
Sunday morning the participants and their families will begin the day with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. The Youth Choir from Saint John the Baptist Church in Las Vegas, NV, joined by other youth choir members from the Metropolis, will sing the hymns and responses for the Divine Liturgy.
Following the conclusion of the final round of competition for the Advanced Senior division, over 2,500 people are expected to gather for the Awards Banquet honoring the outstanding performances of the weekend. The festivities will continue after the awards presentations with dancing to the music of The Olympians.
FDF is one of the central ministries of the Metropolis of San Francisco and is designed to bring together Greek Orthodox Christians of all ages through the love of Greek folk dance and music. It is a forum where youth can come together in friendly competition to share and showcase the history of the Greek people, share in faith and fellowship, and create lifelong friendships and memories.