January 6th of every year is a day Tarpon Springs celebrates The Epiphany.
It’s been the day for the event for more than a centry. Sixty teenage boys, ages 16 to 18, set out to Tarpon’s Spring Bayou in hopes they will be the one to retrieve the white wooden cross that is tossed in by a priest from the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral to seek God’s blessing.
A white dove will be released before they jump in representing the presence of the Holy Spirit. As the young men dive in the Bayou together, the one lucky enough to find it, will be the focus of rejoicing, celebrating and is thought to find favor of God in the coming year.
About 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected to converge on Tarpon Springs for its 106th Epiphany celebration.
For more information, visit St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s website at www.epiphanycity.org or call 727-937-3540.
Thursday – Blessing of the Fleet; around noon, visiting bishop, Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, blesses the fistherman, their vessels, the water and wishes safe and properous journeys. The event happens at the Sponge Docks, on Dodecanese Boulevard. Both commercial fishermen and recreational boaters participate.
Friday – Epiphany –Parts of Tarpon Avenue and Alt. U.S. 19 will be closed from about 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
8 a.m.: Orthos and Divine Liturgy, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 N Pinellas Ave. If you plan to enter the church, arrive early and dress appropriately in long slacks and long-sleeved shirts.
Noon: Blessing of the waters
12:30 p.m.:Traditional litany procession to Spring Bayou
1 p.m.: Dove release and then the Cross dive
1:30 to 9 p.m.: Glendi Festival – Fun, Live music and dancing at Spanos Pappas Community Center Theophilos Hall, 348 N Pinellas Ave. Free admission, with food, beverages, Greek pastries and assorted bookstore items for sale.