‘Totally Lit’: A Hanukkah celebration at James Weldon Johnson Park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of all faiths gathered downtown at James Weldon Johnson Park on Monday night to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Food trucks served dinner in the chilly temperatures. There were dreidel games and dancing as friends and family grabbed hands to a traditional beat.

“I love Hanukkah and I would not miss a party - any party! And I definitely wanted to taste the latkes, which were fantastic,” said Randi Sherman.

The lighting of the menorah officially marks the occasion.

“It was really nice to see fellow Jews celebrate Hanukkah. It’s really a festive occasion and the band was great!” said Dr. Steve Levine.

Cantor Jesse Holzer, the head of music at the Jacksonville Jewish Center, has played at the even for five years. He said this year was particularly sweet.

“It’s not only physically warmer, but you feel the vibe and see other people again people celebrating, eating, even dancing with each other,” Holzer said. “It’s great to be back bringing lights into Jacksonville.”

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.