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As Israel's 60th Independence Day approaches, and other than the traditional barbecue, here are several suggestions by the national events headquarters as to how to spend this festive week. All activities are free.
Lighting up all of Israel's skies on Wednesday, the eve of Independence Day, will be huge displays of light, music, lasers and special effects.
Huge crowds are expected at the displays, which will be broadcasted live on television. The displays are custom-designed for Israel's 60th anniversary, and will express the Jewish people's close relationship with Eretz Yisrael.
Soon we will become a song
A special project named "Soon we will become a song" will be broadcast the next day thanks to the joint efforts of Army Radio and Reshet TV. Famous Israeli artists will sing songs written by IDF casualties. The program will be broadcast on Wednesday, May 7, on Army Radio between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and on Channel 2 at 6:45.
The IDF salutes
Israel's armed forces will salute the country with aerial, naval and parachute-jumping displays over 10 population centers on Independence Day. A naval display will also be held along Israel's coastline.
Parachuting clubs from around the world are expected to participate.
To strengthen the relationship between the general public and the IDF, the 60th Anniversary Administration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and the IDF, is organizing these and a whole host of other events. Among these are the hosting of Israeli citizens in military bases and museums, and at monuments for fallen soldiers. For the full schedule of IDF events, go to: http://dover.idf.il/
The Israel Police salutes
Come to a fun family event at the Police Academy in Kiryat Ata. On Israel's festive day, the academy will open its gates to the public from 9 a.m. until ending at 3 p.m.
At the happening, the police will demonstrate its advanced capabilities in investigation and criminal identification, the facilities and devices it uses in its fight against crime, the skills of its special units, and the use of animals in the fight against drugs and the search for missing persons.
Visitors will also be able to tour the Police Heritage Center, which reviews policing activities from biblical times until today.
Further activities for children and adults will include paintball, creative activities, a performance on the central stage and more.
For more information go to: http://www.police.gov.il/
And the bands play on
Military bands from 10 countries will play for peace in Israel, and the IDF band will conduct a unique performance for the first time.
The performance, "Saluting with notes, military bands play for peace," will be conducted on Thursday in Haifa. The performance will include orchestra parades, during which each band will play a repertoire of songs. At the end of the show all the bands will play the IDF march (Hevenu Shalom) and the national anthem (Hatikva)in unison.
The military bands will be at different locations in southern and northern Israel, and will take part in local Independence Day events the day before.
Beduin festival at Rahat
As part of the promotion of co-existence and religious pluralism, a Beduin festival will be conducted in the southern Beduin city of Rahat from Thursday until Saturday. The festival is intended to develop and promote internal and external tourism for this sector, and will include traditional Beduin hosting and activities.
It's in the Book
The International Bible Contest for adults as well as The International Bible Contest for students used to be a tradition from Israel's 10th anniversary onward.
Although in recent years the contest has been restricted to youth, this year, to mark 60 years of independence, the contest for adults will be renewed and held in Jerusalem. Jews from all over the world will compete in the contest, the very existence of which symbolizes love of our Jewish heritage and the close ties between Jews of the Diaspora and the State of Israel.
...and in the parties
Three huge birthday parties at Nitzanim beach, Kikar Rabin and Achziv beach will celebrate Israeli music. Entrance will be free to all.
Music targeting different age groups will characterize each of the parties, which will each include a huge workshops area, a central stage and music activities.
All year long
The 60th Anniversary Administration and the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority will be celebrating 60 years of independence with activities, ceremonies and special events at national parks and nature reserves throughout the country over the entire year .
To mark Israel's independence, children in Israel (up to age 18) who visit national parks and nature reserves with their families will be able to enter free from Independence Day until the end of June.
The events of the 60th year of Independence are due to continue throughout 2008 and into 2009. For the full schedule go to: www.israel60.gov.il http://www.israel60.gov.il>