TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - Tampa Bay's Greek Orthodox community will celebrate the Epiphany on from Friday through Sunday in Tarpon Springs this weekend.
The celebration honors the Baptism of Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist in the River Jordan.
Before the popular cross diving event, a service will start Sunday's events 8:00 a.m. at
Spanos Pappas Community Center Theophilos Hall in Tarpon Springs to begin the day's celebrations.
The blessing of the waters will commence at 12:30 p.m. and a traditional litany procession to the Spring Bayou begins.
At 1:00 p.m., a dove will be released and then the cross dive will commence.
Some 25,000 to 30,000 are expected to gather along Spring Bayou in Tarpon Springs to view the event.
Any male age 16 to 18 baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church and a current member in good standing in one of the Bay Area Parishes can participate in the cross dive.
The person who retrieves the cross is said to be blessed with one year's good luck.
Following the retrieval of the cross, the Glendi Festival featuring live music, dancing and plenty of food will take place from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Admission to the festival is free.
Parts of Tarpon Avenue and Alt. U.S. 19 will be closed from about 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information on the Epiphany celebration, visit www.epiphanycity.org.