2008 Greek Independence Day Parade – Part 1
On Sunday, April 6 there was the annual Manhattan Greek Parade down Fifth Avenue (okay, up Fifth Avenue) starting in the 50s and going up to 80th Street or so. And Famous Ankles was there, as usual.
I do enjoy the parade. It was actually at last year’s parade that I found myself next to two adorable twin girls in Greek peasant costume. The sat next to my feet and being very young and very cute, attracted a lot of attention. My legs got photographed so much that I joked with people that my ankles were famous in Greece, and a few months later I named this blog in honor of that day.
Nothing quite so great happened this time though. But it was good parade. It was well attended.
Once the parade started, the dignitaries were in close proximity to the head of the parade. They would get to go to the end and then go into the reviewing stands, I presume. I think Mayor Bloomberg was somewhere in the crowd, but I didn’t spot him this time.
Excuse me Assemblyman Mike Gianaris, but you can pay a little more attention to your constituents.
Senator Chuck Schumer was there with his bullhorn. Most of these politicians just loooooovvvve their bullhorns.
Anthony Weiner had his bullhorn! He didn’t do his prototypical “run” where he goes and shakes hands and then “sees” people across the way and then dashes to them.
As usual, lots of kids in native costume.
The NYPD made its traditional show of strength.
I guess I was on the wrong side of the street if I wanted my ankles photographed again. Nah, I was on the right side. These kids were very photogenic, though.
A Greek military band, I think it was their Navy Air Force band, was in the parade. [Thank you Vassilis for the correction in your comment!]
The below is a Greek military honor guard that is one of the highlights of the parade. The key to their walking is their right foot. They would raise their leg on each alternate step and then slam down that foot.
Getting ready to slam that foot…
Yeah, those are poms on their shoes.
Honest, the NYC City Council is bigger than this!
Being Greeks, there had to be fraternities. I don’t know anything about the Kalavritan Fraternity of the Lavaron 1821, but they had a contingent. (No success in google, although it does have references to “Kalavrita” in Greece.)
More of the mysterious fraternity. This time “Kalavritan” is spelled “Kalavrytan”.
Speaking of “Kalavrita” and the like, there was a lone calvary man…(I don’t know if that qualifies as a pun.)
History and culture? Hey, the Greek-American Folklore Society has it covered.
The parade got delayed and this woman was near me for quite a while. I can’t tell whether she’s ready to bust out laughing at all the photographs being taken of her or because she can’t believe she’s wearing that costume.
Lots and lots of Greek flags. That’s one thing you learn in NYC parades: the USA has nothing on the prevelance of flag waving by other cultures. At these events, you discover that people absolutely love to wave their native flags. You can also see a bit of the crowd. This is a pretty well-attended parade.
More flags and natively costumed flag-bearers.
My last picture for today: more costumes. That’s something that I can never forget about the Greek parade. The native costumes are very important to the participants. Of course, every parade has it; just look at the Scots in the Tartan parade and their love o’ the kilt.
This was a really long parade and I can’t imagine it will take fewer than four posts to cover it all.
I’m still having trouble with the editor but I’ve found a way to speed stuff up a little.