Israel to celebrate 70th birthday with 70-hour spectacle
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Israel to celebrate 70th birthday with 70-hour spectacle

From a 70 km all-night beach party, to parades and street events, Culture Minister Miri Regev promises 'you won't be bored' at April celebrations

Culture Minister Miri Regev unveils the logo for Israel's 70th anniversary celebrations, during a press conference on January 15, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Culture Minister Miri Regev unveils the logo for Israel's 70th anniversary celebrations, during a press conference on January 15, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel will celebrate 70 years of independence this year, and Culture Minister Miri Regev on Monday promised a massive party, as she revealed some of the plans for the anniversary events.

“I thought it would be appropriate to implement a concept of ongoing events, beginning with the Independence Day ceremony on Wednesday and ending on Saturday evening: 70 hours of Israeli festivity that will bring citizens together across the country in varied and joyous events,” Regev said at a press conference where she unveiled the official logo for the nation’s 70th anniversary to be held under the tagline “A Legacy of Innovation.”

“You won’t be bored,” she promised.

Regev said the annual state ceremony at Mount Herzl on April 18 will be accompanied by an official song to celebrate Israel’s 70th, followed by the largest fireworks display in the country’s history.

Israel’s 66th Independence Day ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, on May 5, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

This will be followed by an all-night beach party stretching “along 70 kilometers (some 43.5 miles), from Tiberias to Eilat.”

April 19 will feature a “light parade” honoring Israeli innovation, the annual International Bible Quiz, and the Israel Prize ceremony, among other events.

On Friday, April 20, street parties will be held throughout the country in homage to the spontaneous hora dances that erupted in streets after David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the state on May 14, 1948. This will be followed by public Shabbat services.

Official events will end Saturday night with a musical event that Regev promised will represent a soundtrack of Israeli society.

Hadashot news said that the cost of the celebration would be NIS 100 million ($30 million), but noted that this was less than the NIS 160 million ($47 million) spent on Israel’s 60th Independence Day.

Regev also restated her desire to bring back the annual Israel Defense Forces military parade, which had been the centerpiece of celebrations during the nation’s first two decades of independence. She said she had asked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to consider authorizing it.

The parades were discontinued in 1968 due to their high cost, though one more parade was held in 1973 on the 25th Independence Day.

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