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Joy ride

Jerusalem’s iconic locations light up for driving tour

Follow the Lights event takes passengers around the city, with historical insights, laser shows and dinner deliveries

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The exterior of the Israel Museum will become an art installation for the Follow the Lights Festival, opening February 21, 2021 (Courtesy I Travel Jerusalem)
The exterior of the Israel Museum will become an art installation for the Follow the Lights Festival, opening February 21, 2021 (Courtesy I Travel Jerusalem)

The lockdown is at least partly over but the city of Jerusalem is playing it safe with the start of the Follow the Lights event on February 21, experienced from the comfort and safety of one’s car.

The drive-around takes participants to 22 iconic buildings and sites in Jerusalem, each lit up with imagery, video installations and lights, and accompanied by explanatory texts and history (in Arabic, Hebrew and English) on the event website.

Through the website, each passenger car can follow one of the routes or create their own, going from the Chords Bridge, Israel Museum and the Knesset to the First Station, Armon Hanatziv promenade and YMCA, as well as the Monster Slide, Khan Theater, High Court Bridge and other locations.

Light installations will include artworks and archaeological exhibits on the buildings of the Israel Museum (visible from the drive-in parking lot), a musical event at the First Station parking lot and a laser show along the Armon Hanatziv promenade.

The facade of the Khan Theater covered in lights for the Follow the Lights Festival, February 21-March 3, 2021 (Courtesy I Travel Jerusalem)

There’s even the option of choosing a message dedicated and broadcast in the lights of the Chords Bridge, and having an animated GIF image sent to a friend or loved one.

Some locations, like the Israel Museum parking lot and The First Station parking lot will allow for drive-in viewing, but most will only be viewed from the street, without stopping the car.

The event runs through March 3, and was put together by I Travel Jerusalem, the municipality, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Development Authority.

Jerusalem’s String Bridge covered in lights for the Follow the Lights festival, viewed from one’s car (Courtesy I Travel Jerusalem)

The event includes a digital guide with accompanying music, a navigational app with Waze-led directions and an option for ordering dinner while out on the town.

The dinner deliveries are also available through the Follow the Lights website, with picnic meals created for the festival by a number of local restaurants, including Mahneyuda, Jacko Street, Pizza Flora, Nocturno, Burgers Bar and Angelica.

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