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USF Libraries Exhibits

Tarpon Springs

Although Tarpon Springs boasts the title “Sponge Capital of the World,” it has far more merits beyond this designation.  This is due to the cultural and commercial additions that the Greek immigrants offered to the city.  If one were to walk the streets of the sponge docks, one would see a street bursting with shops and restaurants.  Greek immigrants brought with them both their cuisine and traditions.  Consequently, many Greek immigrants established restaurants that showcased their unique Mediterranean cuisine.  Moreover, the Greek immigrants also carried with them their rich religious traditions. Thus, nearly a century ago, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral was established by the Greek sponge divers to pay homage to St. Nicholas the Mariner, “protector of the sea and fisherman.”  At present, Tarpon Springs is also known as “Epiphany City.”  Every January 6th, a captivated audience eagerly waits to see the customary religious procession, in which a cross is tossed into Spring Bayou to be retrieved by a hopeful diver. Today, these industries and traditions are still a major component of the city, and draw countless tourists who wish to experience a “taste of Greece.”