Wilmington celebrates first day of Hanukkah

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The Menorah in Riverfront Park, Downtown Wilmington (photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Riverfront Park was filled with holiday cheer Sunday night.

A community Menorah lighting kicked off the first night of Hanukkah in the Cape Fear.

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Before the lighting ceremony, participants enjoyed a performance by a fire juggler and enjoyed sweet treats like latkes and jelly donuts.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and N.C. Senator Harper Peterson lit the shamash, the ninth candle used to light all other candles.

Rabbi Moshe Lieblich then lit the first candle to symbolize the first night of the eight day celebration.

He says the message of Hanukkah is a positive one.

“Hanukkah is not about fighting the dark, its about lighting a candle,” Rabbi Moshe said. “Even a small candle of light pushes away lots of darkness. It’s about positive light and energy. That’s probably needed more these days than ever before.”