2013-03-27 / Features

FBI’s Venizelos Named Grand Marshal Of Greek American Parade

BY GEORGINA YOUNG-ELLIS

The 2013 Greek Independence Day Parade will take place April 7 in Manhattan, the culmination of months of hard work on the part of the members of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York (FHSGNY). It’s an event anticipated by Greek communities all over New York City, but particularly by that in Astoria, an area with a large Greek population, where the FHSGNY is headquartered. This year, George Venizelos, FBI assistant director in charge (New York Division), will be presiding as the Greek-American Grand Marshal. Parade co-chairmen John Catsimatidis, Elias Tsekerides and Dino Rallis of the FHSGNY all expressed pride in Venizelos, emphasizing how much they appreciate the high level of patriotism and professionalism he and so many other Greek American military personnel and elected officials have exhibited in the U.S. for so many years.

This is the 75th year that the Greek Independence Day Parade will head up Fifth Avenue, starting at 64th Street at 2:00 p.m., and continuing onto 79th Street. There will be more than 50 floats and bands, with an expected crowd of about 100,000. The parade commemorates the 192nd anniversary of Greek independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire on Mar. 25, 1821. It will be broadcast live on MY9 WOR-TV from 2-4 pm, with Fox 5’s Ernie Anastos, Nick Gregory and Mike Woods anchoring. A few of the celebrities participating include American Idol star, Constantine Maroulis, soon to be appearing in Broadway’s Jekyll and Hyde, celebrity chef Cat Cora, FOX News correspondent Mike Emanuel, and Days Of Our Lives star John Aniston. You can live stream the parade at www.my9tv.com/category/241289/livestream.

In anticipation of the parade, many activities will be happening around the city: On March 30 a Saturday Night Gala will be held at Terrace on the Park in Queens, honoring the Greek American Homeowners Association (GAHOA) and Pan Gregorian Enterprises of New Jersey President George Siamboulis, and his wife Evangelia. On March 31, a telethon for the Greek Parade will be aired on NGTV from 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. On April 5 at noon, there will be a raising of the Greek flag at Bowling Green in Downtown Manhattan, and the flag will be raised again the next day, April 6, at Athens Square Park in Astoria, immediately followed by an exhibition of Greek dance groups at the Cretan Society, 32- 33 31st Street from 1:00 -4:00 p.m. That evening, one more Saturday night gala will be an occasion for celebration starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel on the Avenue of the Americas. Call 718-204-6500 or visit www.hellenicsocieties.org to find out more about upcoming events, information on how to obtain gala tickets, or for other parade details.

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