Some 25,000 people from across the Tri-State area turned out early this glorious Sunday morning to watch a Jewish unity parade make its way down Eastern Parkway.
Complete with colorful floats, marching bands, clowns, and live music, the parade drew representation by 60 schools with a total of 5,000 children, carrying colorful signs and banners promoting Jewish themes. Entertainment from well known Chasidic singers Avraham Fried and Chaim Fogelman kicked off the event.
The Lag B’omer parade is the brainchild of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who proposed and presented the idea in the 1940’s, several years before he assumed official leadership of the movement. The idea was to bring Jewish children together in a public display of Jewish pride and unity on Lag B’omer, a traditionally joyous day in the Jewish calendar. With most Jewish children in public schools at the time, the parade was restricted to years when Lag B’omer fell on a Sunday, and all kids could attend.
Much has changed since the first parade six decades ago, but much has stayed the same: The original location- Eastern Parkway- continues to play host to the massive crowds participating in the event, and the heartwarming display of unity continues to inspire.
As in years past, the parade is followed by a large family fun-fair several streets down. A petting zoo with exotic animals, rides, games, and concession stands, made this a great outdoor experience that lasted into the evening.
The Lag B’omer parade and fair is a project of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education and Tzivos Hashem, the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch children’s organization.