Tel Aviv centennial celebrations kick off
First Hebrew city, Tel Aviv, celebrates its 100th birthday in whirlwind of gala events, including more than 400 activities to be spread over nine months, including flower carpet in Rabin Square, top Israeli performers in kickoff performance, and Milan opera house performance of 'Aida'
After many long months of brainstorming and complex production work, the centennial celebrations in the first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv, will kick off on April 1 with an invested NIS 44 million (about $10 million) in the revelries.
Just one month following this, the city of Tel Aviv will be the center of celebrations of Israel's 61st year of independence.
Already on the first day of festivities, the city will be decorated with posters, flags, wall paintings, and ornaments. For the nine months following, more than 400 events will be held throughout the city, outdoor festivals, art shows, sporting events, historic exhibitions and numerous community projects, among others.
The kickoff event will be the Centennial Conference that will present the architectural vision of Tel Aviv for the next 100 years according to architects from Israel and the world.
The opening performance will be held on April 4th (10 days before the city's official birthday) in Rabin Square and will be open to the general public. Top Israeli artists will give performances of Tel Aviv classics at this event, including Barry Saharof, Miri Massika, Matti Caspi, Shlomo Gronich, Monica Sex, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. The event will also be highlighted by a rotating sound and light show on displayed on surrounding buildings that will conclude in a massive fireworks display.
Revival of events pastDuring the nine months of celebrations, various events that have been missing from the Tel Aviv landscape in recent years will be revived, such as the Tel Aviv Marathon, the first in 15 years, and the Youth Village, a tradition that disappeared in the early 80s. From August 9th to August 14th, Tel Aviv will become Israel's Youth Village in a happening planned by students' councils throughout the country.
In addition to the marathon, the city will host a range of sporting events, including the International RS:X Class European Windsurfing Championship to be held along the city's shore in June, drawing many Olympic medalists and contenders. The 18th Maccabi Games will be held in the city in the following month.
Another prominent event marking Tel Aviv's 100th birthday are free, open-air performance of Verdi’s Requiem by the prestigious La Scala Opera House from Milan, in Israel for the first time.
Tel Aviv's first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, will receive a special place of honor in during the celebrations, when a statue of him riding his horse will be erected in front of his house on Rothschild Boulevard, in which the State of Israel was declared.
In honor of the Jewish New Year on September 15-17, Rabin Square will be covered by a flower carpet made up of 800,000 flowers to be brought to the city in conjunction with the city of Brussels. Flower carts will surround the square.
Tel Aviv's foreign workers will not be left out of the picture. On June 12th, a dedicated library for foreign migrants will be launched for the first time in Levinsky Garden, near the new central bus station, that will contain some 3,500 book in 12 languages.