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Cultural Flavors Festivals

This project focuses on the Greek-American community of Warren in Trumbull County, Ohio.

The early Greeks in Warren, Ohio, arrived in waves of largely bachelors, catering to their fellow Greeks by establishing grocery stores, restaurants and coffee houses, shoe repair shops, and Greek-American magazine stands.

A provisional meeting to establish a Greek-American church was held in 1917; additional early meetings continued through July 15, 1918, when it was concluded that the parish would be called Saint Demetrios, to correspond with a name common to churches throughout northern Greece. In the spring of 1920, the former location of the Finnish Lutheran Church, then at 242 Clinton Street, was purchased and became the Church of Warren Saint Demetrios. A second Greek Orthodox parish in Warren was reunified with the Church of Warren Saint Demetrios in 1927, and henceforth there has never been another Greek Orthodox parish in Trumbull County.

The parish has been fervently devoted to causes ranging from Greek War Relief during the Second World War to local community benefits beyond the parameters of the parish itself. To perpetuate the parish's strong faith, culture and language, there has been both a religious and Greek school program since 1921. The latter program remains almost unique among the area's ethnic cultures.

After extensive fundraising drives, the Warren parish purchased a lot on High Street on May 16, 1943, and there, in July 1946, a new church edifice was launched, designed on the order of a fifth-century basilica. In 1976, a Saint Demetrios Community Center was built, which became the locus for a whole galaxy of Greek-American functions, most prominent of which are the annual summer festivals, held yearly since July 1977.

Most recently, the Warren community has been internationally recognized as the birthplace of His Eminence Spyridon, the first American born Archbishop of the United States, appointed on July 30, 1996. He had served with distinction, with his emphasis on Greek tradition and cultural heritage, until internal controversy resulted in his replacement by His Eminence Demetrios, enthroned September 18, 1999.

The Warren area benefits from the leadership of those of Greek heritage, with their ceaseless stress on the importance of education. Greeks in Trumbull County have risen to the posts of school superintendents, commissioners, judges, and Trumbull County Treasurer. And among their ranks there, within the span of just three American-born generations, are several attorneys and physicians, as well as those who have achieved prominence within the professions of pharmacology, psychology, and social work.

The project is documented a paper by Larry James Gianakos on the "Concise History of the Parish of Warren Saint Demetrios," and two lectures given by him at the Warren Public Library: "The Greek-Americans in Trumbull County, 1917-1999" and "The Greeks in America."

Originally submitted by: James A. Traficant, Jr., Representative (17th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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