The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces that the 40th Anniversary of the Folk Dance and Choral Festival of the Metropolis of San Francisco took place February 11-14 at the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, California.
Over 2,500 participants and 1,000 family members came from 34 parishes across nine states to take part in the festival. 108 groups performed, including a special “Reunion group” of dancers who participated in the first three years of FDF, and who now have children of their own dancing in the festival.
Over 40 years, FDF has become the largest gathering of Greek-Orthodox youth in America and is perhaps the largest youth festival of traditional Greek dance in the world. FDF stands for both Folk Dance and Choral Festival and Faith, Dance, and Fellowship. As Archbishop Demetrios of America says, “FDF is a revelation, it is a phenomenon simply as a dance event but it is more than a dance event and a competition; it has evolved into something much more.”
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco adds, “We are trying to impart on the kids who participate, the importance of the family, their family and our Church family, and this is something we have to put all our efforts into.”
FDF is organized by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and managed by Board Chairman Fr. Gary Kyriacou and his team. The semi-final competitions in both divisions took place Friday and final competitions were held Saturday. The Advanced Senior Competition took place Sunday and included the “Reunion group” as well as ten groups that presented themed dances focused on a specific region or village of Greece. FDF 2016 concluded with the formal Awards Ceremony and the announcement of the winners in dance, music, and choral singing.
Also on Sunday, the Archbishop elevated Fr. Gary Kyriacou and bestowed upon him the offikion of Economos. The Metropolis of San Francisco presented the Metropolitan Anthony Humanitarian Award 2016 to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America.