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Almost everyone has heard of Greektown – and it has a storied history, way before Greektown Casino (soon to be renamed “Jack”) opened.

A big celebration of Detroit’s Greek community is just around the corner this Saturday, April 16 and Sunday the 17th.

There are a couple things going on Saturday, even before parade day itself arrives.

On Saturday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. over at 67 East Kirby Street in Detroit there will be a Hellenic Heritage Meet & Greet with World-Renowned Iconographer Vlasios Tsotsonis, the “Painter of Angels.” The artist and traditional iconographer will be unveiling a mosaic created for the Hellenic Museum of Michigan, followed by a play about the historic Greek revolution performed by Metropolis Greek School students.

Guests can also view at that location the historic NIKE Exhibit: The Story of Greece’s Courageous Defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII. The evening includes tours of the museum and special art exhibits as well as traditional Greek dance performances.

Also, at 8:00 p.m., head down to Greektown proper for the Greek Collegiate Night & Greektown Bounce. The Hellenic Student Associations from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and enjoy traditional and modern live Greek music at a variety of Greektown restaurants and bars.

Participating businesses include, Exodus Rooftop & Lounge, Redsmoke Barbecue and Pappy’s Sports Bar.

Detroit Greek Parade - Spartan

Enough already – I want the parade!

The big party is on Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. The 15th Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade, led by Grand Marshall Steven N. Kalkanis, M.D., a nationally renowned neurosurgeon at Henry Ford Hospital, chair of the hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery and co-director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute.

There will be more than 40 participants, performers, floats and groups, ranging from traditional Greek dancers, to local schools, churches and businesses.

You can even break some plates while you’re at it (the tradition is called “spasta,” we’re told). Of course, there’s dining, drinking, and dancing.

The parade steps off at 3:00 p.m and travels up Monroe Street and through the historic Greektown district.

At 4:30 p.m., or the conclusion of the parade, there will be a Post-Parade Ceremony and Dance Performance in Greektown, and there will be a variety of Greek tasting tents with food galore.

Here’s the website, in case you’re interested.

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