Over 600 people attended the annual Apokriatiko dance Gala, held by the Philadelphia chapter of the Pan Icarian Brotherhood on Saturday, March 16. The event took place at the Danielle Kousoulis Center in Cherry Hill, NJ. The Icarian Apokriatiko Dance is known for its length, and this year, it lasted almost 10 hours, concluding well after 5 am.

The Glendi received a special visit from His Eminence Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey. His Eminence blessed the event and acknowledged the presence of people from different places who had come to celebrate. Before the event, he spent time with the young attendees, taking pictures and speaking to them. Later, he helped the local chapter distribute icons of Agia Marina to the senior members of the society. Agia Marina is the patron Saint of the Island of Ikaria. President Yiannis Pasamihalis mentioned that the icons were given as part of the society’s celebration of 85 years and also as a conclusion to their pledge to the Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church iconography program and the sponsorship of the icon of Agia Marina.

Dance chair Theologos Horiates pointed out that July 17 is the day of Icarian Independence, which coincides with the Patron Saint’s feast day. On this day, the island hosts festive events called Panigiria that last all evening.

The entertainment was, as always, exceptional and featured Sergianni and the society’s signature Icarian dance in various forms. The performance was spectacular, with a real-time holographic light show that filled the hall with multiple photos of Ikaria. As the evening progresses, pictures of the youth dancing are superimposed on the holographic displays. The band plays without a break, and the dance floor is constantly crowded. Above the dance floor and the holographic displays, Icaros moves across the ceiling and watches over the dancers.

Community leader Stathis Karadonis spoke about the upcoming Greek Parade in Philadelphia, which is scheduled to take place in two weeks. This year’s Parade, just like every other Parade around the world, is dedicated to the cause of Cyprus. The country has been invaded and occupied for half a century under a regime of oppression.

Karadonis extended an invitation to all 600 participants to the Dignitaries Banquet at Adelphia, which will be held on April 6. The event will honor Philip Christopher and Archon Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis, along with the Presidential Guard of Greece (the Evzones), who will also attend.

Over the weekend, the Supreme Lodge of the Pan Icarian Brotherhood attended an event where they had the opportunity to meet with a large number of attendees from different places, including New York, Toronto, Baltimore, Virginia, North Carolina, Cleveland, and Chicago. The group was led by Katina Mavrophilipos, who serves as the Supreme President. During the event, Mrs. Mavrophilipos wished everyone a Kali Sarakosti and commented that the dance is considered a national event. She also invited everyone to attend the Supreme Convention in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend and provided more information at ikariaatlanta.com.