Detroit.- By George Reganis
Detroitʼs annual Greek Independence Day parade took place on Sunday, March 25, 2007. The community celebrated the feast of the Annunciation at the Detroitʼs Annunciation Cathedral and the Greek Independence Day with a parade and ceremony at the heart of Greektown. For the sixth year in a row, the parade set an attendance record, with close to 15,000 marchers and spectators attending from Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario.
The famous Evzone group of the Hellenic Society of New England, 14 Greek Orthodox churches, 19 Hellenic organizations, and seven Greek dancing groups in full costume marched in the parade, which was led the by the Grand Marshall Philip Christopher Vice president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad and World Coordinator for Cypriots, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel, Vice Consul Vasiliki Grivitsopoulou Consulate of Greece, Michigan State Senator John Pappageorge, Representatives Bob Constan and Fran Amos, and other dignitaries.
Participants marched up Monroe Street from Woodward Avenue to the heart of Detroitʼs Greektown. The parade included floats constructed by the University of Michigan Hellenic Students Association, “Dionysians” Wayne State University Hellenic Student Association and Pan-Cretan Association, Pselorites, Cretan Ladies and Cretan Youth, To the crowds delight the Evzones Group from New England marched in military cadence of Greeceʼs honor guard and the spectators enthusiastically applauded from the reviewing stand as they passed by. Greek hero Alexander the Great lead the Macedonian Society of Michigan.
After the parade, a ceremony was held at the end of the parade route. Rich Mayk, a longtime Detroit TV personality and parish council member at Assumption of St. Clair Shores, acted as master of ceremonies. The program opened with the singing of the Greek, Canadian, and American national anthems and followed by a short Doxology. Metropolitan Nicholas, Vice Consul Grivitsopoulou and the Grand Marshal Philip Christopher then addressed the crowd. The Evzone group and the seven other participating dance groups treated the crowd to a fine display of dances from all regions of Greece.
The Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade was revived in 2001 after an absence of several decades and is sponsored by the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee, a non-profit corporation. The committeeʼs web site can be found at http://detroit.greekparades.com.
*** George Reganis is the President of the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee