Campbell readies for first Greek parade in 37 years
By danny restivo
The city is reintroducing an ethnic parade nearly 40 years after it last was staged.
On Sunday, members of the community will congregate for Campbell’s first Greek Independence Day parade since 1976.
Lisa Missos, a parade organizer, said the city has one of the largest Greek communities in the Valley, and it’s looking forward to celebrating a newly rediscovered tradition this weekend.
“We wanted to bring back something we all used to remember doing when we were growing up,” said Missos. “In today’s society, keeping an ethnic tradition alive can sometimes take a back seat to a hectic lifestyle.”
The celebration marks the Greek uprising against the Ottoman Empire which, according to legend, began on March 25, 1821 after a Greek Orthodox bishop, Germanos III of Old Patras, blessed a Greek Flag and proclaimed a revolution against the Ottomans. After eight years of fighting, the Greeks won their independence in 1829.
The Greek Independence Day coincides with the beginning of Lent in the Greek Orthodox Church, also known as Clean Monday. As in Roman Catholicism, Lent in the Greek Church lasts for 40 days and culminates in the Easter celebration.
The parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, 401 12th St., and will go nearly one-half mile south on 12th Street to the Hellenic Prodromos Hall, at 165 12th St.
Missos said Archangel Michael is hosting the event, while parishioners from St. John the Forerunner and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Youngstown will both be participating. She said city and county officials will be walking in the parade, including Mahoning County commissioner Anthony Traficanti, county Treasurer Dan Yemma, and Campbell Mayor William VanSuch.
Children and adults will be dressed in traditional Greek clothing during the parade. A coffee hour with Lenten dishes and pastries will follow at the Hellenic Prodromos Hall.
A trolley service will be available to take people back and forth from Archangel Michael to the hall from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.