The parade attracted more than 60 000 spectators and participants. It was held along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on 26th of March. American Greeks, citizens and guests of New York came to the spectaculous march of evzones, presenting an elite ceremonial unit of the Greek army, performance of military bands and folk music groups.
Mayor of New York Bill de Blazio mentioned great contribution of Greek nation to the development of New York City. He called the European Union to support Greece which faced challenging situation- economic crisis, refugees, migration processes, but still undertakes an activities to support stability in Southern Europe. He said that the Greek Independence Day Parade has been held annually since 1938 and considered one of the most important events in social life of New York.
According to Petros Galatolus, head of the Federation of Greek societies of New York, Mr. Ivan Savvidi was elected unanimously as a «grand-marshal» of the parade. «Mr. Savvidi’s contributed much to the process of history and Hellenic ethnos culture preservation, facilitating the development of cultural ties and mutual cooperation of representatives of Greek Diaspora all over the world».
Ivan Savvidi stressed an undoubted significance of such decision.
«Such cooperation is a vivid example of the public democracy. People have an opportunity to build ties between countries and nations apart from the political environment. Participation in this event is a great honor for me, Pontian Greek born in the Soviet Union far from the historical Motherland. I’m happy with the fact that today we turn to our history and commemorate heroes who gave lives for freedom of Greece».
Also Mr. Ivan Savvidi took part in series of events on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day, such as reception in the White House and patriarchal service in Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York.