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Montreal’s Greek community turns out for Independence Day parade

Click to play video 'Montreal Greek Independence parade attracts thousands' Montreal Greek Independence parade attracts thousands
WATCH ABOVE: Thousands of people in Montreal’s Parc-Extension neighbourhood came out to celebrate Greek Independence and Montreal’s Greek Community. Global’s Billy Shields reports – Mar 24, 2019

Thousands of people are crowding the streets of Park Extension in a celebration of independence.

Though the parade commemorates Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire almost 200 years ago, it has become a staple celebration of the community’s integral role in Montreal’s cultural life.

READ MORE: Prime Minister Trudeau celebrates Greek Independence Day at Montreal parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making an appearance at the parade, as he has in years past.

 

The festivities started at the corner of Jean-Talon and Hutchison streets at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Many members of Montreal’s Greek community told Global News the parade served as a reminder of the sacrifices their families made.

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Anastasia Nikolakakis said her parents settled in Montreal after coming from Greece alone.

Another parade attendee said he emigrated to Montreal when he was five — leaving Greece aboard a ship and sailing for 11 days until landing in Halifax with his family. He went on to become an accountant.

“We’re proud to be Canadian No. 1,” Jim Katsigiannis said. “We’re proud to be Greek Canadian No. 2.”

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Greek Independence Day is honoured every year on March 25.