'Sci-fi Hanukkah': Bay Area Chabad planning holiday celebration with giant flying Menorah, drones

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Bay Area Chabad plans celebration with giant flying Menorah, drones
Bay Area Chabad plans a holiday celebration with a giant flying Menorah and drones.

PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, a big celebration is being planned for the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday. The community event is adding a high-tech twist to an old tradition. Drones, lights and tiny parachutes are playing a role.

Rabbi Dovid Bush was playing his new favorite Hanukkah game, he calls it "Strike a Light."

"Basically, it's like whack-a-mole but menorah style," said Bush.

The game will debut on Sunday when Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma hosts a one-of-kind event for the first night of Hanukkah.

MORE: Hanukkah 2022: Everything you need to know about the Jewish holiday

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The celebration will happen at the Marin-Sonoma Fairgrounds. The Rabbi says lots of room is needed because this Hanukkah event will be taken to new heights.

"I was thinking how can we take it bigger and better? How can we drop chocolate gelt from the sky," he said.

Would you believe, a giant nine-foot menorah suspended from a mega-drone? The flying holiday spectacular first appeared in 2021 and quickly became a crowd favorite.

"Which is this fantastic, futuristic sci-fi like Hanukkah experiences," Bush said.

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For the big finale, chocolate gelt coins will be deployed from the menorah, tied to little parachutes.

"Essentially chocolate gelt raining down from the sky, we have tons of gelt, a thousand coins ready to go," Bush said.

You may ask, why go so big for the festival of lights? The rabbi says, why not?

"The truth of the matter is, light and joy go hand in hand,"' Bush said.

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In fact, Rabbi Bush says he's getting calls from other Rabbis across the country, wondering how they can take their holiday to the next level too.

"We're thankful we could be that inspiration. We continue to share the message of Hanukkah: light over darkness," Bush said.

Chabad's Hanukkah celebration begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma.

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