You are invited to participate in events that will take place around the local community to celebrate Chanukah.

Chanukah begins on Sunday, December 22 and runs through Monday, December 30. The Chabad Jewish Discovery Center offers great community events to help you celebrate the holiday.

According to Rabbi Rubashkin, “At Chabad Jewish Discovery Center, our goal is to create opportunities for anyone to have a positive, uplifting and enjoyable Jewish experience. We make Chanukah events in multiple locations to make it easier for people to attend, and the activities of each event are based on what we feel the local residents will enjoy most.”

The fourth annual Chanukah Festival at Winthrop Town Centre will take place on Sunday, December 22 at 5 p.m., the first night of Chanukah, featuring the kindling of Brandon’s tallest menorah, hot latkes and chocolate gelt for everyone.

New this year will be a Gelt Launching Tournament, in which participants will create their own gelt launcher and then participate in a head-to-head competition until a gelt launching champion is crowned. Admission is free. Kosher hot dogs and drinks will be for sale.

New and gently used clothing, especially sweatshirts, jackets and sneakers, will be collected at the festival. The drive, spearheaded by members of the local CTeen chapter, an international organization, gives Jewish teens the opportunity to make a difference in the community while having a good time and making friends.

A SouthShore Chanukah Celebration will feature menorah lighting, a pop-up New York deli and live music on Monday, December 23 at 5 p.m. at the Mirabay Club in Apollo Beach. It will feature artisan small batch New York deli favorites and will be glatt kosher. Enjoy live music by Boris of The Freilach Band.

Seating is limited. RSVP is required; the cost is $5 per person. To RSVP and to find the menu and food prices, please visit

A procession of cars with electric rooftop menorahs will drive around Brandon to various homes on Thursday, December 26. A Parade of Light will bring the joy of Chanukah making stops and kindle the menorah, sing Chanukah songs and share Chanukah treats. Visit for more information.

A menorah lighting will take place at Park Square in Fishhawk Ranch on Sunday, December 29 at 5 p.m. and will feature hot latkes, chocolate gelt and Chanukah music, plus a parachute gelt drop; chocolate gelt will rain down on the crowd via parachutes. At a Chanukah candle making workshop, everyone will have the opportunity to make their own Chanukah-shaped candle.

For information, visit or call 571-8100.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.