Thousands of Greeks Americans and expats were present ato the grand parade for the anniversary of Greek Independence, on Manhattan's 5th Avenue.
The crowd became enthralled by the Hellenic Presidential Guard, the Evzones, while a minute of silence was kept for falle Hellenic Air Force pilot Giorgos Baltadoros. The parade was broadcast in Greece by New Greek TV, in collaboration with TV station 4E.
The world's most famous Avenue was once again decked in "blue and white". In the central Upper East Side venue, next to the famous Central Park, which separates east from the West side of Manhattan, Greek associations, schools, parishes and clubs paraded down Manhattan's 5th Avenue, while thousands of Hellenes applauded from sidewalks and platforms.
Favorable weather conditions were a further incentive for Greek Americans to watch the parade, since the combination of sunshine and good temperature was rare and had not coincided with the day of the parade for at least five years. This resulted in a massive public turnout, especially between 64th and 67th Street, where there was a gap for television broadcasts and the stand of the officials.
Excitement, once again, was caused by the Evzones of the Presidential Guard, 26 of which traveled to New York City. Wearing the emblematic Greek fustanella, young "tsoliades", from every corner of Greece, caused emotion as well as the interest of even non-Greek spectators and photojournalists who covered the 5th Avenue parade.
Shortly before the national anthem, one minute of silence was observed for the unfortunate pilot, Giorgos Baltadoros, while there were three vacant seats: One for the fallen pilot and two for the soldiers held by Turkish authoprities in Andrianople.
The parade mershalswere Governor of New York, Andrew Quomo, General Prosecutor of Nassau County, Mandelin Singas and the philanthropist and businessman, Pantelis Boubouras. The ceremony was also attended by the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blazio, as well as Ombudsman, Leticia James, and the federal representatives, Caroline Maloni (Congress) and Chuck Schumer (Senate).
From Greece, the Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountoura, the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the Mayor of Corfu, Costas Nikolouzos, the Mayor of Chios, Manolis Vournos, the Professor of Geopolitics and Economic Geography, Ioannis Mazis and others select guests were in attendance. Also, among those on the platform of officials, were the president of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Petros Galatoulas, the Greek elected representatives, Aravella Simota, Nicole Malliotaki, Costas Konstantinidis and Lou Raptakis, PSEKA president, Philip Christopher, Archbishop of America , Mr. Dimitrios, the Consul General of Greece in New York, Konstantinos Koutras, the Commissioner for Human Rights and Overseas Cypriots, Fotis Fotiou, the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Vasilis Filippou and others.
Broadcasting across Greece
New Greek TV, in collaboration with the Thessaloniki TV station, 4E, broadcast the 5th Avenue parade live via satellite. Thus, in addition to the television platforms broadcast by New Greek TV on Time Warner (RCN) and Canada (Bell Fibe), the two-hour live broadcast was broadcast throughout Greece by regional TV channels. In particular, apart from the 4E in Macedonia and Thrace, the images of the parade traveled to the television receivers of the Peloponnese and Greece (Ionian TV, Arcadia TV), to the Dodecanese (Tarmis TV), the Cyclades (Syros TV1), northwestern Greece and the Ionian Islands (Epirus TV1, Corfu Channel) and Central Greece (E TV).
The set of New Greek TV at the junction of the 67th Street with 5th Avenue wasvisited by: Pantelis Boubouras (Entrepreneur - Parade Marshal), Elena Kountoura (Minister of Tourism), Archbishop of America Dimitrios, Mandelin Singas (General Prosecutor Nassau County), Carolyn Maloney (Congresswoman), Kostas Konstantinidis (New York City Councilor), Andreas Latos (President Peter Latos, Prostate Cancer Foundation - Vice President of New Greek TV), Nicol Malliotakis (State MP, Mayor of New York, Apostolos Tzitzikostas (Regional Governor of Central Macedonia), Greta Kamaterou (Director of the Hellenic Tourism Organinization for the USA and Canada), Lou Raptakis (Rhode Island State Senator), Konstantinos Nikolouzos (Corfu Mayor) and Nikos Bardis (Parade Commissioner ).
The parade was presented by Yanna Darilis and Konstantinos Angeloudis.