ST. ATHANASIOS ASSOCIATION OF PERISTA, USA
In Celebration of the 100th anniversary of ST. ATHANASIOS ASSOCIATION OF PERISTA, USA, the Association jointly with the Greek sister Association "O Sylogos Eneladi Peristianon" coordinated many events which were held in the village to help the visitors connect with their Greek heritage and experienced the Greek village life at least for a few days.
Approximately 100 Peristians worldwide visited their homeland, Perista that is located in Etoloakarnania, Greece on August 3 to 10, 2018 and were warmly received as the celebrations began with a special and emotional welcome.
The village built with donations from the American Association a stone bus-stop on the outskirts of the village; where on this same spot family and friends would gather in the old times to bid farewell to their sons at first and others later who migrated to foreign lands. Many tears were shed in this spot and to honor all those who dared to dream for a better life and made a life changing decision to migrate a poem engraved in a stone plaque was dedicated to the visitors and placed here. (See photos)
Afterwards the Greek Association's Board hosted a welcome dinner for all visitors in the school as a slight drizzle brought the event indoors.
The next afternoon, a BBQ/picnic was held at the Agia Triatha church grounds for both visitors and villagers and the atmosphere was joyous and hospitable. Over 170 people gathered and reconnected with relatives and made new friends.
Αρτοκλασια (memorial service for deceased members) church service was held at St. Athanasios church on Sunday, and was officiated by the Metropolitan and Theologian Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, other dignitaries attending were the Peripheriakos of Western Greece Apostolos Katsifaras, (Περιφερειαρχης Δυτικης Ελλαδας Αποστολος Κατσιφαρας), and many dignitaries attended the service.
During the next two evenings as is the custom, the festival (πανηγύρι) began till dawn. Bouzouki night, kareoke night, and a bus day tour to Thermo and a visit to the new Archiological Museum, where the curator gave us a tour, and afterward drove to Karpenisi to visit Proussos Monestary.
The village came alive during that week and all had a great time.