The Story of the Celebrate Israel Parade
In 1965, thousands of American Zionist youth walked down Riverside Drive in support of the young State of Israel. This impromptu walk evolved gradually evolved to include Jewish community organizations, synagogues, marching bands, and floats as it morphed into the Salute to Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue.
In 2011 the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York assumed management of the Parade and officially changed the event’s name to the Celebrate Israel Parade to focus on celebrating the vibrant and diverse State of Israel.
Today, the Parade features over 40,000 marchers from many organizations. Hundreds of thousands enthusiastic spectators watch American and Israeli community leaders and dignitaries, entertainers, artists, musicians, dancers, celebrities, floats and marching bands. Many more watch on the live broadcast via television or live-stream.
The Parade has also welcomed the annual participation from the Prime Minister of Israel and a delegation of Members of Knesset, and other Israeli dignitaries. New York’s Governor, the Mayor of New York City, U.S. Senators, Congressional Representatives, Members of the State Senate, Assembly and City Council also participate each year, proudly supporting the bond between the United States and Israel.
For the Parade’s many Marching Groups, Cluster Groups and Floats, the Parade is a culmination of a year-long Israel educational effort using a creative theme. Each Group or Float works with the Parade staff to develop a creative presentation with colorful banners, costumes and props in a show of unity and pageantry.