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Be The Light

Let the Christians and seculars have their Santa, he’s a wimp anyway. If the fat man were ever faced with fist to face combat, you can be sure he’d retreat and hide behind his magical reindeer. You don’t want a holiday photo with a dude who can’t hold his own — especially when you can get one with Judah the Maccabee. He’s famous for going Old Testament on wrong-doers.

Yes! At the Friendship Circle’s Annual Chanukah Festival you’ll get photo ops with Judah “the sledgehammer” Maccabee, a bounce house (for the wee ones), carnival rides, a magic show, and noshing galore. But this celebration isn’t all about the latkes (though, there will be plenty of latkes), it kicks back to the community. The Friendship Circle is a non-profit affiliate of Chabot of Parkland that assists special needs children through therapy programs and peer-matching. In fact, at Sunday’s Chanukah festival, you’ll see some of Friendship Circle’s excellent outreach in action; they’re teaming up with Personal Ponies to bring therapy Shetlands out to the kids. The children can groom them, wash them, and even paint them with animal-safe pigments. Yes! Ponies!

Grown-ups will find their own thrills: they’ll stand illuminated under an eight-foot menorah while chowing on kosher barbecue, donuts, and latkes to live music. Join the bash and see why this has become the biggest Chanukah celebration in South Florida. The whole thing is free, but you’ll find plenty of ways to support the Friendship Circle at the event.

The Annual Chanukah Festival runs from 3 to 6 p.m. at Chabad of Parkland at 7170 Loxahatchee Rd. in Parkland. Call 954-970-9551, or visit
Sun., Dec. 28, 3 p.m., 2008

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Jamie Laughlin

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