March 7, 2017

As floats of The Beatles, Pippi Longstocking, Olaf and Donald Trump-as-Gulliver wheel down the streets of Holon in this year’s annual Purim Adloyada parade, parade designer Zipi Ifat and creative and development designer Arik Lefler will be looking on like proud parents.

Ifat and Lefler are two of the more than 200 people who work on putting together the annual holiday parade.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the national Adloyada Purim Parade in Holon, the country’s central event. The parade will take place on Sunday, March 12, 2017, under the theme “Heroes of our Childhood and Youth.”

Olaf, a character from “Frozen,” will feature in the 2017 Holon Adloyada parade. Photo taken in a Holon warehouse where he was being built. Photo by Viva Sarah Press

“I’m very happy to see that this parade is celebrating 25 years. When I started 25 years ago, Israel didn’t have such a thing. Today, it is a part of the culture of Israel,” Ifat, the national parade’s designer for 23 years, tells ISRAEL21c, at the Holon studio where the floats are being built weeks before the big event. “At the parade, I feel very happy. And as soon as it’s over, I begin to think about next year.”

Touch-ups on The Beatles, February 2017. Photo by Viva Sarah Press

In 1992, the first Adloyada parade took to the streets of Holon.

The name “Adloyada” comes from the decree that on Purim Jews should drink until they cannot tell the difference (ad lo yada) between the holiday’s main characters, the evil Haman and the heroic Mordechai.

The Holon Adloyada is not about intoxication due to alcohol but rather due to excitement.

The early floats were made of wood, paper and sponge. Ifat, an architect-artist by training, has taken inspiration from the Carnivale Viareggio and has added movement to many of the local floats.

The theme of the 1995 Holon Adloyada was “Stories Children Love.” Photo: courtesy

So, who will be rolling along in this year’s national parade?

Look out for Mary Poppins; The Beatles dressed up as ladybugs (in Hebrew, the band is known as Hachipushiyot, which translates as ladybugs and not beetles); Pippi Longstocking leading a horse with a rider in the image of Adloyada General Manager Doron Shalom; “Frozen” characters Anna, Elsa and Olaf; US president Trump in Gulliver getup wearing a Hillary Clinton T-shirt; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara; Education Minister Naftali Bennett dressed as a clown; Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev dressed as a ballerina, and more.

Pippi Longstocking will feature in the 2017 Holon Adloyada parade. Photo taken in a Holon warehouse where she was being made. Photo by Viva Sarah Press

“This year we decided to make the floats for the parents, as well. There are caricatures of the characters. Donald Trump, for example, is seven meters high. We made him with Gulliver’s characteristics. And there’s also Pippi Longstocking for the kids,” Lefler, the parade’s creative and development designer, tells ISRAEL21c.

There will also be giant balloons floating above the parade including characters like Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, David Ben-Gurion, Lionel Messi, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Albert Einstein.

The parade features 4,500 dancers, bands, drummers, street-theater acts, and acrobats. But the enormous colorful floats are the most impressive part of the event.

“Holon is ‘the’ parade of Israel. It’s the biggest, it’s the most popular, thousands of people are coming to enjoy,” says Lefler.

Holon Adloyada 2010 featured an opera theme. Photo: courtesy

Something to smile about

The Holon Adloyada may be just one day but the rest of the country gets to enjoy the floats for years to come. It has become customary for other municipalities to reuse the floats from years past.

“I’ve been doing these floats for 16 years,” says Lefler. “To share with the people year after year . . . it is giving children something to smile about.”

Holon Adloyada 1999 had an animals theme. Photo: courtesy

Ifat even created an exhibit showing the history of the Adloyada parades in Israel and celebrating the floats of years past. The retrospective is on display at Hachava (The Farm) Gallery (40 HaMelakha Street, Holon) until March 18, 2017.

“I wanted to show the public all that we did over these years. In the exhibit, you can see pictures from the parades, and the designs and sketches of the floats over 25 years,” says Ifat.

Holon Adloyada 2003 was a celebration of Israeli cinema. Photo: courtesy

In addition to the Holon festival, Herzliya will host an Adloyada parade on March 12 at 10am; Petah Tikva Adloyada will take place March 13 at 11am; Netanya’s annual Carnival is set for March 12 at 11am; Ashkelon’s Adloyada on March 12 at 4pm; Rehovot’s street party is set for March 12 at 10am; Tel Aviv hosts an annual Purim street party with live bands and deejays (March 10) and a zombie walk (March 11); and Jerusalem hosts a family Purim party in Safra Square (date TBA).

In 2008, the Holon Adloyada celebrated Israel’s 60th year as a state. Photo: courtesy

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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