New York's Fifth Avenue will be blue and white on Sunday as marchers step forth to celebrate in the Israel Day Parade.
Heading the march will be New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Israel's Minister for Information and the Diaspora, Yuli Edelstein, Consul General in New York Ido Aharoni, JCRC-NY CEO Michael Miller, and other elected officials.
Tens of thousands of marchers will follow the officials down the avenue, and are expected to be greeted by the cheers of hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Among the list of marchers are 29 colorful trucks carrying full entertainment stages, 18 music bands and shopfront displays. Some 200 organizations and institutions will be represented this year, spanning the East Coast.
Israel Day celebrations actually begin early in the morning with a special running event in New York's Central Park, being held for the second year in a row. More than 6,500 participants are set to run along a 6.4-kilometer track, to culminate at a bandshell with music and an “Israeli experience” in the park.
"We are delighted every year to be involved with and support the parade,” Edelstein said. “This event is not just a march in support of Israel, but a celebration of the special relationship between Israel and the United States, rooted in our common values and goals.”
Michael Miller added his own words of praise, noting that “masses of supporters of Israel come from all over New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to celebrate each year... Support for Israel is reinforced by the sight of tens of thousands of people marching together down Fifth Avenue, all clad in blue and white. It's a great privilege, and an exciting experience to take part in these festivities year after year and bring a wondrous spirit of Israel to the streets of New York.”
The Israel Day Parade will be broadcast live for the second year in a row on New York's local Fox network, NY9, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. EST (israel 7:00 p.m. To 9:00 p.m.)