Cincinnati’s First Drive-Thru Hanukkah Light Display Takes Over Kenwood Parking Lot

Dedicated to the festival of lights, the "Let It Glow" community display will be on view at Rockwern Academy through Dec. 2.

click to enlarge The city's first drive-thru Hanukkah light display is on view at Rockwern Academy in Kenwood - Photo: Screengrab of Video from Robert White
Photo: Screengrab of Video from Robert White
The city's first drive-thru Hanukkah light display is on view at Rockwern Academy in Kenwood


While most Cincinnati drive-thru (and walk-thru) winter light displays
 lean heavily on Christmas imagery, Rockwern Academy Jewish day school in Kenwood has set up the city's first Hanukkah-centric illuminated event.

Dedicated to the festival of lights, "Let It Glow" will be on view through Dec. 2 (it opened Nov. 28, the first night of the 2021's eight-day Hanukkah celebration), with a special one-night recurrence on Dec. 4. 

“While Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, it is an opportunity to celebrate light in a dark season and to celebrate the resilience of the Jewish community. In American culture, our children are surrounded by public displays of Christmas, and we wanted a meaningful way to publicly share the joy of Hanukkah as well," said Rabbi Laura Baum, Rockwern Academy’s Head of School, in a release. "We find creative ways to celebrate Jewish holidays throughout the year, and this felt like a fun new way to celebrate Hanukkah.” 

Glowing features include inflatable Hanukkah decor, including a giant menorah and dreidel, as well as blue and white colored lights and student artwork projected onto outdoor screens.

The free event also includes a soundtrack of songs sung by Rockwern students, plus hot cocoa and donuts on Dec. 2. 

“We wanted to create a joyful holiday experience for families. While we have traditionally hosted large Hanukkah parties in the past, that did not feel like the safest choice during COVID. Instead, we decided to take our party outside and celebrate with an event centered on lights,” said Marcie Bachrach, President of the Board of Trustees at Rockwern Academy.

Rockwern Academy is located at 8401 Montgomery Road, Kenwood. Cars should enter via Sturbridge Drive. The display will be on view from 5:30-7 p.m. nightly through Dec. 2 and then again on Dec. 4. 


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