City streets, national parks and nature reserves were abuzz with excitement on Tuesday as the country's workforce took advantage of the first legal public holiday, courtesy of the municipal elections.A total of 180,000 Israelis seized the opportunity to enjoy the warm weather at the country's national parks and nature reserves where a range of special family activities were organized for visitors. Among the busiest reserves were Ein Afek, Einot Tzukim and Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea. The Yarkon, Ein Hemed and Castel national parks also saw heavy footfall. In the democratic spirit of the municipal elections, visitors to Ein Afek voted to choose the nature reserve's new logo. More than 7,000 people visisted KKL-JNF's Hula Valley bird center in the Upper Galilee, currently home to over 35,000 cranes, pelicans, flamingoes, birds of prey and more. Approximately 500 million migratory birds pass through Hula Valley each year. Many of those opting to spend the day in Israel's major cities filled restaurants, markets and city center parks. "It is an opportunity to go outside and meet friends. There are so many people outside. It's something positive and a rest from the crazy reality of routine life," said Snir Nakar, who was enjoying the warm weather at Tel Aviv's Gan Meir park. "These are my first elections in Israel and there's a real sense around the city that people actually care about voting," said Dave Kanoff, a new immigrant from Florida living in Tel Aviv. "I probably wouldn't have been able to vote if I didn't have the time off as I work quite far from home. I'm spending the day eating, catching up with friends and making plans for the remainder of the week."Jerusalem residents Gilia and Joey Sacharow, accompanied by their four-month-old foster guide dog puppy Gordie, enjoyed the morning at the capital's Sacher Park before spending the afternoon at the movies."I think it’s important to have a day off on Election Day because in addition to making our civil rights more accessible to many citizens, the freedom to spend the day as we please creates positive associations with the democratic process," said Gilia."Democracy in this contested region deserves not only to be defended, but celebrated," said Joey. "I see today as a natural progression of Yom Ha’atzmaut, and plan to commemorate those sacrifices that were made to establish the State of Israel as a proper holiday."