A juggling dreidel on stilts will be back again this year.
A juggling dreidel on stilts will be back again this year.

Chabad of Queen Anne-Magnolia is inviting the public out for the annual lighting of the menorah and a carnival celebrating the first night of Chanukah on Sunday, Dec. 2.

“Our first event when we moved to Queen Anne was this Chanukah event,” said Rabbi Shnai Levitin, with the first lighting of a large menorah bringing together the local Jewish community and their neighbors. “We’re working on having a lighting every night of Chanukah.”

Chabad changes things up every year, Levitin said, but traditions like latkes, jelly donuts, music, chocolate coins and a juggling dreidel continue. The first 50 to show up for the Chanukah Carnival will receive LED menorah and dreidel necklaces.

The event will start with food, music and a craft table, where kids can make their own menorahs.

A light show will follow the menorah lighting and juggling performance. The Chanukah Carnival starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, and the lighting will likely occur around 4:40 p.m., Levitin said. While many Jews light menorahs in their homes, the rabbi said tradition is to celebrate Chanukah in the streets.

“The idea behind that is the lighting of the menorah is supposed to be spreading light out to the world,” Levitin said.

There will be a free raffle for Chanukah gifts. People can enter during the carnival, and receive notice if they won via email.

Each year up to 200 people show up for the celebration, but the rabbi does expect a larger showing this year, with a national increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric that was punctuated by the shooting massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick of people coming in to all of our programming,” Levitin said, be they Jewish or not. “…Chanukah is a really fantastic holiday. It’s a holiday that celebrates religious freedom over oppression. It’s a holiday that celebrates light over darkness.”

Check in for the carnival on Facebook.