St. Petersburg Times online  
Tarpon Springs' 100th Epiphany
This week marks Tarpon Springs' 100th annual Epiphany celebration, commemorating the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. This year's celebration will be highlighted by the Diving for the Cross, presided over by His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church. The city's celebration, the largest in the United States, is expected to draw 80,000 people.


No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed at any events

• His All Holiness Bartholomew arrives at St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport.

• His All Holiness will preside over a Celebration of Youth for 1,600 children ages 5 to 18 at 11 a.m. at the Westin Innisbrook. A clergy laity lunch will follow at 1 p.m., with a reception for the Patriarch at 3 p.m. Events are not open to the public.
• Photographic exhibit opens. This exhibit includes a collection of photos from 100 years of Epiphany. Sponsored by the St. Peterburg Times, the exhibit runs through Jan. 30 at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 1001 S Pinellas Ave. Hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be open on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
• The blessing of the fleet will be 11 a.m. to noon on the Anclote River, when the clergy bless the fishermen, their vessels and the altar. Commercial and recreational boats will participate.

• Epiphany Day starts with the Orthros, the morning preparatory service, and the Patriarchal Liturgy at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 N Pinellas Ave., at 8 a.m. The service will be followed by the procession to Spring Bayou.
• The Diving for the Cross will take place about 12:30 p.m. at Spring Bayou, with His All Holiness Bartholomew performing the ceremony and tossing the cross. More than 50 young men between the ages of 16 and 18 will dive.
• The Glendi, or festival, will be at the Sponge Docks from 1 p.m. to midnight with Greek food, music and dancing. The Sponge Docks will be blocked off to vehicle traffic for the festival.
• A private centennial reception and banquet will be held at Ala Carte Pavilion in Tampa for visiting VIPs and clergy.

• The Glendi continues from noon to midnight at the Sponge Docks.
• Singer Mario Fragoulis will perform at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa at 7 p.m. with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in honor of the visit of His All Holiness Bartholomew.

• The Orthros and Patriarchal Liturgy will be performed by His All Holiness Bartholomew at St. Nicholas at 8 a.m.
• A Patriarchal lunch will be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral Community Center 348 N. Pinellas Ave. at noon. Proceeds benefit St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

Source: ESRI, TeleAtlas, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Tarpon Springs Police Department, Times Files

© Copyright 2004 St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved