Don’t be surprised if you see a line of menorah-topped cars driving through Bluffton toward Hilton Head Island the afternoon of Dec. 22. They will part of the first Menorah Parade to be held in the Lowcountry.
The cars will line up at 5 p.m. at the Nike store in Tanger 2 Outlet and travel to Shelter Cove Towne Center, where the 9-foot-tall menorah will be lit around 6 p.m.
Chabad of Greater Hilton Head is organizing the event as one of 15,000 public celebrations worldwide, according to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Mendel Hertz.
The parade route will travel via the main thoroughfares of Bluffton and Hilton Head, including Hwy. 278, in this unique Hanukkah celebration promoting holiday awareness.
The parade will end at Shelter Cove Towne Center, near the Belk Men’s store, for a grand celebration at 6 p.m.
Members of Chabad of Greater Hilton Head will ignite the 9-foot menorah erected near Belk Men’s store, followed by a community-wide celebration on the first night of the eight-day holiday.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Dec. 22 and concludes the evening Dec. 30.
The ceremony will feature Hilton Head town manager, Steve Riley, addressing the crowd. Following the menorah lighting ceremony, there will be a celebration with dancing, singing, juggling and traditional Hanukkah foods.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Hilton Head’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly, and with pride,” said Hertz. “This is true especially in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution.”
The menorah lighting is part of a worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday – publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” said Hertz. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness and hastens the coming of Moshiach. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Beaufort County’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Rabbi Hertz at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit jewishhiltonhead.org.