Anchorage Festival of Lights will include fire show

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 5:51 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Bringing a little light to the world is what organizers of this year’s drive-in “Chanukah on Fire” celebration say the holiday is all about.

The eight-day Festival of Lights is celebrated around the world by lighting the menorah for others to enjoy.

“We always light the menorah at the window or at the door or outside,” says Mushky Glitsenstein of the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska. “The idea is to bring the light out. So think of somebody who might need an extra smile, something to brighten their day, bring something over to their house, wearing your mask, call them up, FaceTime them find ways to share the light "

Chanukah is one of the Lubavitch Jewish Center’s biggest annual events, not just for their congregation but for the broader community. Normally, the center’s annual celebration is held indoors, but the need for social distancing created a challenge.

This year’s festival is outside at the South High School drive-in theater, making it possible to bring up fire performer Jason D’Vaude.

“He doesn’t only do fire,” says Glitsenstein. “He also does all sorts of circus stunts and magic and handstands and he’ll be on a unicycle juggling fire and fire breathing and putting his pants on fire and all sorts of stuff and luckily, you’ll be in a car and you’ll watch it on a massive screen.”

Glitsenstein said D’Vaude will perform live but the center will livestream everything happening on stage onto the screen.

Ahead of the event, attendees will also be able to order traditional foods like shawarma wraps, potato kugel and Chanukah donuts as well as a craft box that includes activities for kids and menorah and candles.

“It’s a way for everybody to celebrate religious freedom the victory of light over dark which is a universal message that everybody can relate to and find joy in,” says Glistenstein.

Tickets, food and craft boxes can be ordered online through the Lubavitch Jewish Center’s website. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. Sunday at South High School.

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