Fifth Avenue was awash in blue and white on Sunday (June 3) with tens of thousands of marchers waving Israeli flags and sporting the country’s colors for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York.
This year’s parade was themed “70 and Sababa” in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Israel’s Consul General in New York Dani Dayan and Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon led the march, joined by ambassadors from Canada, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Nigeria, Ukraine and Romania.
“Sababa means awesome, fantastic, or super and that’s just what Israel is. What began as a small and arid land with few natural resources has transformed into a country full of magnificent landscapes, seascapes, and skyscrapers that has made truly incredible advances in technology, medicine, and agriculture,” said Jennifer Falk, Judy Kaufthal and Aaron Rosen, co-chairs of the Celebrate Israel Parade.
More than 30 floats with musical performers, 15 world-class marching bands, and 40,000 marchers representing hundreds of organizations marched along Fifth Avenue with colorful signs, custom t-shirts, music and Israeli pride.
Social-media star Claudia Oshry of popular Instagram account Girl With No Job, blogger Moti Ankari, and TV personality Siggy Flicker posted video on Instagram from the Government of the State of Israel float, where Israeli singer and actress Ninet Tayeb gave onlookers an acoustic performance while gliding along the parade route.
After the parade, thousands gathered in Times Square for a block party-style celebration organized by the Consulate General of Israel in New York and the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
Times Square’s famous billboards paid homage to the history, heritage and innovation of Israel’s first seven decades. A four-minute video displayed Israeli innovation in various fields, including irrigation, desalination, sustainable energy and space exploration.
The event also featured a performance by Israeli singer Shiri Maimon, who will soon be starring in the musical “Chicago” on Broadway.