Fifth Avenue will turn blue and white on Sunday, June 2, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., as 28 floats with musical performers, 17 marching bands, and 35,000 marchers entertain hundreds of thousands of spectators for the largest celebration of Israel in the world, the Celebrate Israel Parade. This year marks the 65th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
Players from Israel’s national soccer team, ranked No. 66 in the world, will ride on a specifically designed float, prior to their Sunday evening match against Honduras at Citi Field. This match will mark Israel’s first New York appearance in over 35 years. The team features several players from some of the top professional clubs in Europe, including Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea, F.C. of England’s Premier League, and Dudu Aouate from RCD Mallorca of Spain’s La Liga. Currently, the team is tied for second place in their group qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Special group rate pricing will be available for JCRC-NY members and friends.
World-famous American illustrator and graphic artist Peter Max is designated as the official artist for the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade. With paintings on exhibition in hundreds of museums and galleries worldwide, his vibrant colors have become part of contemporary culture. His expressionistic painting of the Israeli flag will be displayed on banners, ads, and flyers along the parade route on Fifth Avenue and perfectly fits with this year’s parade theme “Picture Israel: The Art & Craft.” Through this theme, parade groups will showcase artworks that illustrate Israel’s land, seascapes, and cityscapes, create collages of Israel’s cultural diversity, paint portraits of faces, places, and accomplishments, and frame it with designs.
The parade will also include lively floats, some of the region’s best marching bands, top area musicians, and a number of other exciting additions suitable for all ages, including groups of stilt walkers, dancing rollerbladers, and juggling clowns.
Prior to the kickoff of the parade, the annual four-mile Celebrate Israel Run will begin at 8:00 a.m. in Central Park, where more than 5,000 runners will race through a course designed to represent a run through Israel as well as a festival featuring Israeli music, snacks, and more. New this year, a kids’ run for those aged 2 through 12 beginning at 9:30 a.m. will take place simultaneously. To register, please visit NYRR.org.
The parade is the marquee event of JCRC-NY’s Celebrate Israel Project—an initiative largely sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Communal Fund, and Consulate General of Israel in New York—which celebrates the positive impact the Jewish and democratic state of Israel has on the lives of people around the world.
“It’s a joy to see throngs of supporters of Israel from across the metropolitan area and beyond come together to celebrate at the annual parade,” said JCRC-NY executive vice president and CEO Michael Miller. “We are so excited for our newest additions, which we hope will draw an even larger crowd as we all stand to support Israel.”
“Year after year, the parade never ceases to be a thrilling experience, bringing the unflagging spirit of Israel to the streets of New York. I feel privileged to be a part of the festivities,” Miller adds.
More than 200 organizations are scheduled to march along Fifth Avenue, from 57th Street to 74th Street. Melodie and Marty Scharf from Lawrence, NY, will act as this year’s grand marshals.
For the latest information, please visit celebrateisraelny.org, follow Twitter@celebrateisrael or like Facebook:Celebrate Israel Parade. v