Big beach party
Photo: Shahar Azran
Free popsicles
Photo: Shahar Azran
Tel Aviv beach party, New York-style
Thousands show up for Frischman Beach party in Central Park as part of Tel Aviv's centennial celebrations. Israelis, Americans dance to Israeli tunes on 15 tons of sand as volunteers hand out popsicles, beach paddles and more

Thousands of people flocked to Manhattan's Central Park on Sunday, where 15 tons of sand, umbrellas, popsicles, music and Israeli artists came together to form an artificial Tel Aviv beach in the heart of New York City.


"I couldn't have asked for better weather," said Eytan Schwartz, a spokesman for the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Centennial Administration responsible for organizing the event.


Sunday afternoon the clouds made way for summertime sunshine as thousands of Israelis and Americans arrived at the park to take part in the Frishman Beach festivities.

Chilling at Frishman Beach, NYC (Photo: Shahar Azran)


The artificial beach was set up as part of the Tel Aviv Municipality's plans for the city's centennial celebrations.


"We gave New York – the city that has it all – the one thing it was missing: A real beach party, Frishman Beach-style," a satisfied Hila Oren, director-general of the centennial celebrations said.


Sand was scattered in front of the main stage and beach chairs and umbrellas were placed all over the 'shore'.


The sand was purchased by the organizers in the United States "only after we checked that its composition is as identical to that of Frishman beach as possible", said Schwartz.


Beach sports (Photo: Shahar Azran)


Israeli group Hatikva 6 took the stage Sunday afternoon and within minutes got the crowd's arms up in the air and the whole park dancing.


The event was hosted by Amir Fay Guttman, and Israeli DJ Hadar Marcus took over the second half of the event with an Israeli dance party.


Popsicles, beach paddles, hats and other beach accessories were handed out to the crowd.

Crowd with arms up in the air (Photo: Shahar Azran) 


Fredrick, a young French tourist passing by said he had never seen such a vibrant beach. "If this is a copy of the beach in Tel Aviv, I have to go there and see the original," he said.


Twenty-six-year-old American Fred Bodner danced to the Israeli tunes and said, "I visited Israel once, and I fell in love with Tel Aviv. I want to go back and visit. The artificial beach they set up here reminds me of the amazing beach over there."


Michal Miller, one of the most prominent leaders of the American Jewish community, enjoyed the sight of thousands of young people waving their arms enthusiastically at the stage.


"It's very important to see Israeli culture in New York that has nothing to do with religious or political issues. All the people that came to Central Park today want to get the feel of Tel Aviv,' he said.


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