Pennsauken, NJ – The Ikarian House was the scene of the annual Vasilopita Cutting ceremony last night. The annual event hosted by the Ikarians also featured the post-New Year annual 1st meeting of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley.

Fathers Christoforos of St. Thomas and Father Alexandros of Evangelismos led the traditional ceremony that was attended by guest of the Federation and members of the Ikarian House. Attendees and members were blessed and later received a slice of the vasilopita bread.

Following dinner, the Federation discussed the upcoming fundraiser dance that is scheduled to for this Saturday evening January 13, 2018, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church. The event is titled Greek Night and will feature singers Katerina Topazi, and Theodore Paounis from Greece. Neo Kyma will accompany the singers, and DJ Mike will spin the records.

All proceeds from the event will go towards the Greek Independence Day Parade, scheduled for March 25th, 2018. The annual parade will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway again.

Several parade details were also announced. The Eleftheria Medal recipient this year will be George Burlotos. Burlotos has been a media representative for the Philadelphia Greek community for more than 50 years. His career began with a Greek radio broadcast from Camden NJ, and that was followed by his popular television broadcast known as the “Greek Spirit,” which ran on Sunday evenings for the past 30 years. George recently retired at the age of 94 and closed out his final season this past October 2017.

One of the Grand Marshalls was also announced last night. Doctor George Ahtaridis was formally recognized for his dedication to Hellenism and community. Dr. Ahtaridis has held many posts in the community, including church board member, president of the Pan-Macedonians of Philadelphia, and president of the Federation of Hellenic American Societies. Ahtaridis was also well known for his philanthropic efforts around the Delaware Valley.

The evening concluded with a discussion about the theme of the parade. The Macedonian issue has again come to the forefront. Greece and FYROM have been negotiating on a deal that is getting a lot of attention. During the meeting, the Federation members agreed to showcase the issue through the parade.