Greek flag raising held ahead of Glendi festivities

Annual celebration of Greek culture kicks-off Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of Springfield-area families are expected to attend Glendi this weekend; the Greek cultural festival in Springfield.

Mayor Domenic Sarno joined members of Springfield’s Greek-American community raising the blue and white colors of their native Greece. It was an emotional experience for Ielias Roumeliodis, who came to Springfield almost 50 years ago.

“They welcomed me with open arms. I felt the first minute that I belonged here forever, I raised my kids here,” Roumeliodis said.

Roumeliodis is a parishioner at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral at Memorial Square; the house of worship that has sponsored Glendi for more than 40 years. Its priest, Fr. Christopher Stamas, told 22News that Glendi provides its visitors with a glimpse of Greek culture to go along with the food, dancing, and feelings of friendship.

“One of the biggest things about Glendi, we bring the people in, tell them a little bit about the history of our country, and the history of Springfield as well,” Stamas said.

Glendi begins on Friday on the grounds of the Greek Cultural Center, across from the cathedral at Memorial Square. It is an event that consistently lives up to its name; Glendi is Greek for celebration.