Heritage Celebrations

Greek Independence Day Reception

March 19, 2019

In honor of Greek Independence Day, the Mayor welcomed the Greek and Greek-American communities of New York City to Gracie Mansion. At the Reception, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered remarks, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America delivered an invocation, and Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, was honored and presented with a proclamation.

Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American author and businesswoman. Formerly, the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna now devotes her time to a new startup, Thrive Global, focused on ending the burnout epidemic and improving the wellbeing and performance of individuals, companies, and communities. Arianna's achievements have been honored in many ways. In 2009, she was #12 on the Forbes's first-ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media and in 2014, Forbes listed her as the 52nd Most Powerful Woman in the World. She has also has been named as #42 on The Guardian's Top 100 in Media List.

Live musical entertainment was provided by Costas Baltazanis on guitar, Mavrothi Kontanis on the oud and baglama, and Kostas Psarros on bouzouki. Baltazanis is a member of Alex Foster's Condition Band and has performed around the world including in Greece, the United States, Spain, Israel, and Germany. Kontanis is a singer, composer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist, although his main instrument is the oud. He has also performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Middle East. Psarros grew up in a musical environment, as his father was a prominent bouzouki player and his mother a professional singer of rebetika. He has performed in many prestigious music halls and performed at a concert in the Metropolitan Opera House, featuring the world famous Greek singer, George Dalaras.

Photo Gallery



We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for their generous support of the Greek Independence Day Reception:

  • Grand Prospect Hall
  • May Ellen & Gerald Ritter Foundation

Past Events

Watch the 2018 Greek Independence Day Reception Video

Read the 2018 Greek Independence Day Reception Transcript

Watch the 2017 Greek Independence Day Reception Video

Watch the 2016 Greek Independence Day Reception Video