Upper Darby, PA – St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox hosted the post parade festivities on Sunday. Following the Greek Independence Day Parade, the Greek community gathered in the church hall for a series of dance performances and presentations.
Mayor Thomas Micozzie of Upper Darby welcomed the attendees to Upper Darby, the gateway community to the suburbs of Philadelphia, where a long Greek history lives on today. He shared the story of the Greeks as being one of the immigrant communities and their continued presence in a community that shares some 60 plus cultures now. “First there were the Germans, Irish and Italians. Then came the Greeks, who have made Upper Darby their home,” said McCozzie.
Then Micozzie shook hands with President Nikos Spiliotis of the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies and handed him a proclamation from Upper Darby. Micozzie read the proclamation that declared, April 2nd, 2017 Greek Independence Day in Upper Darby. The crowd cheered as Micozzie handed over the document to President Spiliotis.
Greek Dancing kicked off the afternoon. The Pontian Akritai of Philadelphia led the way. Dance Troupes representing churches and organizations from across the Delaware Valley took turns showing off their ancestral dances. They came from Northeast Philadelphia to South Jersey and everywhere in between, wearing traditional folk attire. The snack bar and the kitchen were filled with parishioners making and selling fresh Spanakopita. A staple dish St. Demetrios is famous for.
St. Demetrios was alive like a Greek village festival during summer time. Generations of Hellenes celebrated as they watched their children’s performance. The afternoon closed with Father Christoforos Oikonomidis of St.Thomas. He summed it up the feelings of many Greek Americans who came out today. “ I had to America to fully understand my love of homeland. Here, we appreciate what Hellenism has given us, and we must never forget.”