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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter helped light the huge menorah on Independence Mall, Saturday, after a Hanukkah parade that wound through center city.

One hundred and fifty cars, all with electric menorahs on their roofs, road from Eakins Oval on the Parkway to Independence Mall for the lighting of what the Philadelphia Lubavitcher Center says is the largest menorah in the world.

“We find ourselves on Independence Mall which represents the birth, the cradle of liberty, bringing the message to everybody,” says Rabbi Abraham Shemtov.

Rabbi Shemtov says the now familiar custom of public menorahs began in Philadelphia, thirty-five years ago, but his assistant Lois Yampolski says the celebration has expanded quite a bit over the years:

“Most of the holidays are solemn. Hanukkah is the one holiday where you can express, we can do it outdoors, we can celebrate, we can show who we are so I think that’s important.”

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio.

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