COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Local leaders joined members of the Jewish community on a fresh and windy Sunday night in Acacia Park for the Light up Colorado Springs Chanukah Unity Celebration.
The event was organized by the Chabad of Colorado Springs Jewish Community.
"We celebrate Chanukah, and it's fun to be part of the community and Chanukah is a really special holiday," said Ronit who came to the park with her family to enjoy the event.
Members of the Chabad brought homemade donuts and kosher hot dogs for the crowd to snack on. They sang and danced to live music performed from the bandshell stage.
"Chanukah is something very special," said Rabbi Boaz Vituk. "Chanukah represents light overcoming the darkness, Chanukah represents unity, Chanukah represents where there is a descent we can ascend much higher than before."
Historically, Chanukah celebrates the Jewish victory against Greek-Syrian rulers during the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd Century BC. Rabbi Boaz joked that the donuts are a continuation of that spirit of rebellion.
"You know, the Greeks were all about the body all about looking good and et cetera and et cetera," he said. "So, Jewish people eat donuts so that we don't look like the Greeks in any way shape, or form."
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Police Chief Vince Niski, Fire Chief Randy Royal, and County Commissioners Holly Williams and Longinos Gonzalez joined Boaz on the stage to participate in a menorah lighting ceremony. Despite the gusty winds, all eight candles were lit.
Daniel, who came with Ronit and their children said the symbolism of lighting a menorah can apply to everyone.
"We all are a light in the world and we can bring illumination," he said. "That's the big takeaway, if we all do our part, we all just do a little something, it makes the world a better and brighter place."
And Rabbi Boaz noted that light, even on a windy night, is a powerful force.
"You illuminating somebody else life, your life will be illuminated. And when you illuminate another person's life you bring redemption into this world."