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There is a very large and active Jewish community in Denver, and every year the community provides lots of fun ways to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah together. Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and it commemorates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabees won a particularly difficult battle. The miracle of Hanukkah is that the oil that was used to light the menorah lasted for eight days, even though there was barely enough left to last even one. This miracle is celebrated with the annual lighting of the menorah, as well as many other fun traditions and parties. If you are looking for some new ways to celebrate Hanukkah with your family, here are a few great places with Hanukkah events in Denver.
Jewish Colorado Menorah Lighting
Allied Jewish Federation Menorah
Corner of Alameda Ave. and Dahlia St.
Denver, CO 80246
Date: Dec. 16, 2014
The menorah is the symbol of Hanukkah with its nine branches that symbolize the eight days of Hanukkah plus one extra candle that is used to light the others. Every Jewish home lights a menorah each night of the holiday but there is something special about coming together to light the community menorah with the other Jewish families in Denver. It’s an annual tradition, one that brings out many families from all over the Denver area, and it’s a great way to kick off the holiday. Refreshments are usually served as well, and you can take advantage of the celebration to meet some other Jewish families and make some new connections.
Downtown Festival of Lights
Civic Center Park
144 W Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Dec. 18, 2014
Celebrate Hanukkah with the annual Downtown Festival of Lights and the Colorado Hebrew Chorale. You’ll enjoy a beautiful holiday concert filled with lots of stunning music by the Hebrew Chorale, as well as a special performance by Stories on Stage. Stories on Stage is a very fun organization that brings the best actors from all over the state of Colorado to the stage to read stories, just like when you were a kid. If you loved being read to as a child, you’ll love the Stories on Stage performances as well. Following the entertainment will be a communal candle lighting, as it is the third night of Hanukkah, and lots of yummy food to enjoy.
7th Annual Top Latke Taste-Off
5209 Montview Blvd.
Denver, CO 80207
Date: Dec. 6, 2014
Nothing says Hanukkah like latkes, those delicious, crispy potato pancakes served up with a heaping spoonful of applesauce or sour cream. Temple Micah has been offering an annual Latke Taste-Off for seven years, bringing some of the best area latke chefs together to show off their stuff. If you enjoy latkes, then this is the place to go this holiday season. There will also be communal candle lighting and a Shabbat Jam Band performance to enjoy, making the evening a true celebration of the Festival of Lights.
Family Hanukkah Celebration
Jewish Community Center
350 S. Dahlia St
Denver, CO 80246
Date: Dec. 18, 2014
The Jewish Community Center in Denver always offers lots of great ways to learn about the holidays and celebrate as a family. This year, it’s offering a Family Hanukkah Celebration, and it’s a great way kick off the holiday this year. You’ll enjoy all of the music, lights and festivities of a Hanukkah carnival with lots of yummy snacks and treats to enjoy. You can also order a dinner in advance and make a full evening out of the event. If you are new to Denver, this is also a wonderful way to meet other Jewish families in the area, make some new friends and celebrate together.
Related: Top Holiday Celebrations In Denver
Torah On Tap Hanukkah Party
Date: Dec. 17, 2014
Torah on Tap is a very fun organization dedicated to providing opportunities for young Jewish adults to engage in social activities, community service and educational opportunities. It meets the first Wednesday of every month for a drink and dinner with conversations about Judaism and how it applies to everyday life. In December, Torah on Tap will be celebrating the holiday for an additional Wednesday in December with a fun Hanukkah party for young adults in the Denver community. There will be music, great conversation and, of course, plenty of latkes to enjoy. Make sure to register ahead of time so they can plan accordingly for the number of people attending.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.