The Honorable Ifigenia Kanara, the Consul General of Greece in Boston, in collaboration with the Alpha Omega Council of Boston, announces the 34th consecutive Marathon Wreath Ceremony, chaired in 2017 by Alpha Omega Trustee Charles Lavrentios. The event memorializes the tradition of presenting olive wreaths from Greece to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) to crown the winners of the 2017 Boston Marathon®. The annual ceremony will be held on April 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House.
According to Consul General Kanara, “The wreaths from Greece remind everyone of the Marathon’s Greek origins.” Each year the wreaths are grown, cut, hand-crafted and then travel to Boston to crown the four 1st place winners of the Boston Marathon®, modeled after Classical Greece’s tradition of crowning its victors with olive wreaths. “The annual Marathon Wreath Ceremony affords an opportunity to celebrate the deep relationship between the BAA, the people of Greece, and the historical significance of the Battle of Marathon. Alpha Omega President Peter Lemonias said the Council is “thrilled to be a part of this great tradition”.
Beginning in 2014, the Consulate and Alpha Omega Council also launched a program of educational enrichment activities to recognize the historical significance of the Battle of Marathon and to encourage an appreciation of the civic responsibility and bravery the ancient Greeks demonstrated at Marathon. A highlight of the Wreath Ceremony is the annual Marathon Essay Competition, which includes recognition of students from the Timilty Middle School of Boston, the Hopkinton Middle School, and the Ashland Middle School. These activities are offered with the participation of Alpha Omega Council, the Greek Consulate, the 26.2 Foundation, the Boston University Philhellenes, and the Examined Life Program, among others.
The Marathon Wreath Ceremony was established in 1984 by the then Greek Consul General Christos Panagopoulos, the Boston Athletic Association, Governor Michael S. Dukakis, Lieutenant Governor John Kerry, Mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn, Race Director Tim Kildu, and Peter Agris of the Alpha Omega Council in recognition of the historical ties between the world’s ﬁrst democracy in Ancient Athens and the birth of democracy and the striving for freedom and human dignity that rang out of Boston in 1776 and continues to this very day.
For more information, contact the Consulate General of Greece, 86 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 523-0100, at [email protected], or Alpha Omega Council President Peter Lemonias via [email protected]