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More Than 200,000 People Mark Annual Purim Carnival in Tel Aviv

More than 200,000 spectators jammed the sidewalks of Ben Yehuda Street here Sunday morning for the annual “Adloyada” Purim carnival parade, a procession of floats and over 1,000 costumed school children, led by Mayor Shlomo Lehat of Tel Aviv. He rode a bicycle and waved an over-sized parking ticket, an “inside joke” understood by residents of every traffic-congested metropolis in the world.

The parade almost didn’t happen. The municipal authorities withheld permission until the last minute because the weather forecasters predicted cold, rain and high winds. But the day dawned sunny and mild.

The floats were designed by pupils at the High School of the Arts. The youngsters rode them, accompanied by their proud parents. There were flags, bunting, noise-makers and bands. Ben Yehuda Street, one of the older thoroughfares in Tel Aviv, and its cross-streets were closed to traffic. This resulted in gridlock elsewhere in the city. Most businesses and factories were closed for the day.

There was also a Purim parade in Haifa Sunday, organized by the Technion’s faculty of architecture who gave it the name “Archiparchi.” The Haifa parade dates back more than a half century. It was suspended when Hitler came to power in 1933 as a sign of mourning and was not re-introduced until the State of Israel was founded.

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