Denver’s first-ever menorah parade organized to fight bigotry, intolerance

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DENVER -- Dozens of Jews and non-Jews gathered Tuesday evening for the annual lighting of the Stapleton menorah. A new tradition to the festivities kicked off this year before the ceremony, aimed at standing up against intolerance and hate.

Throughout Stapleton Tuesday afternoon, a moving line of menorahs was hard to miss. The procession, which is considered Denver's first-ever menorah parade, was promoted as a solidarity parade.

"I think it's about bringing the community together and finding any opportunity we can to make sure that we all get together," said parade participant Alex Michaud.

Parade goers traveled 2.5 miles from Isabella Bird Community School to the public menorah at 29th Avenue and Syracuse Street.

The gathering was organized by a Rabbi Mendel Popack in direct response to Swastikas spray painted on the elementary school in November. The community rallied following the vandalism and sent a positive message to youngsters.

The parade was met with excitement from those living along the route. That excitement all led to the lighting of the menorah shortly after sunset Tuesday.

Popack said the Stapleton menorah, standing in Founders Green Park, is a sign of Jewish pride welcomed by an inclusive Stapleton community-- something that is a much stronger force than any sign of hate.