Tel Aviv parties until dawn at annual ’White Night’ event

By Haaretz Staff , 5/27/2009

Thousands of Israelis from far and wide flocked to Rothschild Boulevard in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, as the city held its annual "White Night" event, with parties, music and street theater lasting until the wee hours.

Continuing the celebrations for Tel Aviv's 100th birthday, actors clad in white period costumes strolled the boulevard, chatting to members of the crowd and serenading passers-by. A massive screen erected in the center of Rothschild displayed portraits sent in by Tel Aviv residents to make up a composite photograph of the original families who settled the city in 1909.

The stretch of gravel normally reserved for boules matches was the stage for a band performing a bluesy version of Beatles songs for an audience seated at their feet on the grass verge.

Further down the boulevard models were suspended 10-feet up, posing as iconic images from the city's history. Three actors engaged in an improvised dialogue, portraying characters from the first days of the city, when 60 families from Jaffa moved north along the coast to establish a new neighborhood.

"It's fabulous!" said 17-year-old Leah, who came from nearby Holon with her friends for the event. "We want to stay until the sun comes up!"

The entertainment runs through the night at venues around the city, including a concert by soft rocker Yehudit Ravitz on North Tzuk Beach at 1:00 A.M.

Other highlights on offer included a "white" walking tour at midnight from Rothschild Boulevard to Shenkin Street, a musical walk for song lovers and music festival at Jaffa port, featuring Jewish and Arab musicians performing classical Arab music, western classical music, Flamenco, jazz, and rock
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