Hundreds of people came out of their homes in Northwest Baltimore to wave and dance on the evening of Dec. 26 as the annual Chanukah parade drove by. For the first time, the parade took place throughout the Park Heights area, starting and ending at Cheder Chabad rather than making its way to downtown’s McKeldin Square as it had in years past.
With a caravan of 55 vehicles boasting mounted menorahs and flashing lights, this year’s parade was a true tribute to the Festival of Lights. An assortment of cars, trucks and ambulances along with a fire truck tailed behind the six-motorcycle police cavalcade and a trailer toting a 6-foot-tall menorah.
“This year, we decided to start and end the parade at Cheder Chabad due to the Chanukah Festival taking place on the 25th, when a lot of people were away,” said Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, director of development at Cheder Chabad of Baltimore and director of the Jewish Uniformed Service Association of Maryland. “The past six years, it has been going downtown. We’ll have to see about options for next year.”
Tenenbaum actually had the privilege of participating in one of the first Chanukah car parades in Brooklyn more than 30 years ago.
“Chanukah is also known as the Festival of Lights,” he said, “and what better way to spread light and celebrate Chanukah than with a parade of menorahs?”
Following the procession, many community members, including state Del. Sandy Rosenberg (D-District 41) and Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon, gathered at Cheder Chabad to light their menorah in lieu of the traditional downtown lighting.