Organizers Prepare For A Cold Epiphany In Tarpon Springs

Jan 5, 2018

This week's cold snap has brought school closures and even snow in some parts of Florida, but that won't stop the Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration on Saturday.

More than 50 boys in T-shirts and shorts will plunge into Spring Bayou, competing to be the first to find a wooden cross. More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, which begins with a church service and ends in a festival of food, drinks and dance.

Michael Kouskoutis, a member of the committee organizing the large Greek Orthodox event, said organizers have arranged for dive teams and extra medical personnel as a precaution.

But Kouskoutis said past Epiphany events have seen temperatures in the 20s or 30s without an incident.

"We've been doing this in Tarpon Springs for over a hundred ... years," he said. "We've had colder days, we've obviously had warmer days."

The Tarpon Springs Epiphany is identical to religious celebrations that occur throughout Greece. With highs in the upper 50s expected, organizers are asking attendees to dress warm.

If you go:

Date: Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018Location: Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 36 N. Pinellas Ave. Tarpon Springs, FL 34689Time: Religious services begin at 8 a.m.; casting of the cross begins at 1 p.m.