There’s good news and bad news about the annual Epiphany celebration that takes place in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
The good news is that the 115th consecutive celebration that commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ will take place, despite strict measures in place limiting large gatherings.
And here’s where the bad news comes in. There will be no large gatherings or celebrations. Spectators will be limited to about 100 people– or two family members from each of the 50 divers, as well as priests and other organizers of the event. In other words, the event that normally attracts 25,000 people will be closed to the general public for the first time in 115 years.
In a plan that was agreed to between Greek Orthodox community organizers and Tarpon Springs city officials, 55 divers between ages 16-18 will participate in the cross dive into the bayou.
The boys will only be allowed to each have two family members there to watch.
The divers will have to wear a mask leading up to the plunge into the water and will be given a new mask to put on immediately after climbing out of the bayou, according to the plan.
The ceremonial procession and popular Greek celebration will be canceled and there will be limited capacity allowed inside St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral during religious services.
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