Obama, Kerry, Putin, Merkel, Bibi, Messi, Neymar all visited downtown Holon on Sunday, joining thousands of children and their families in celebrating the traditional Purim march, the Adloyada, on a fine, warm day.
Holon has been holding the country’s biggest Purim parade since 1992.
There were floats with huge puppets represented famous people, followed by marchers and dancers in costumes from schools and cultural and youth centers from all over the country. The theme this year was Latin music and many floats carried performers representing Brazilian samba schools and the Soccer World Cup, which will be held in that country beginning on June 12.
“I saw [FC Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel] Messi and [FC Barcelona and Brazil star] Neymar, and as the rest, I hardly remember!” said an excited Nathanel, seven, from Holon. Dressed as a magician, he was watching the parade near city hall corner with his family.
His twin brother, Adam, dressed as a character from a video game, will not forget the tap he got from a performer dressed as Sponge Bob, one of his heroes.
Their older brother Ben, who marched in the parade in 2011 representing his elementary school, Ben-Gurion, said there were fewer floats this year. It seemed to this reporter there were number as in recent years.
Ben and another brother, Daniel, decided this year to wear costumes only at their school’s party.
Not far away, boys’s friends, brothers Omer, Raz and Ziv, were dressed up, one as a basketball, and the others as Messi and [Real Madrid and Portugal forward] Christiano Ronaldo. All play soccer and basketball at Nofshonit Country Club in Holon’s Kiryat Ben-Gurion neighborhood.
Their little sister Lili decided to dress up as Wonder Girl, and their cousin Itai came as a policeman, while Kfir, Itai’s oldest brother, decided to stay home.
Of course, all the access to the parade streets (Sokolow, Histadrut) are closed, Alex, a Belarus-born security guard who didn’t even notice the presence on a float of Russian Vladimir President Putin, explained to me.
From the nearby cities of Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam one could see a police helicopter hovering overhead, and hear the sirens of ambulances from Magen David Adom. The traffic jams before and after the event forced people to walk everywhere.
Surely, the Holon Adloyada is still the “Mother of all Adloyadas.”