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Centennial Makeover

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Tel Aviv’s Ganey Yehoshua Park will be transformed into the “Israel Culture Park,” serving as the site of the summer centennial celebrations. The park will feature a center stage with grand concerts, dance and jazz recitals and performances by the Metropolitan Opera, the Batsheva Dance Company and Israeli rock and Middle Eastern musical artists. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the park throughout the summer.

In conjunction with the Centennial celebrations, Tel Aviv-Yafo will host one of the most prestigious sporting events of 2009 — the RS: X European Championships in Windsurfing. The International Olympic Federation and the Israeli Olympic Committee will organize the ten-day event from June 11 to 20, 2009, which will be the first international surfing competition following the Beijing Olympics. The championship is expected to attract hundreds of windsurfers from around the world, including new Olympic medalists.

The city’s youth will celebrate Tel Aviv-Yafo’s birthday with a grand, three-day party at the Ganey Yehoshua Park. The festival will include concerts by leading Israeli artists, stand-up comedy, sports, dance parties and films on an outdoor screen. A special kid’s zone, entitled “100 Years of Childhood in Tel Aviv-Yafo,” will be set up at Ganey Yehoshua Park and extend to the local amusement and water parks, presenting the city through song, literature and theater.

Tel Aviv-Yafo will host the 18th Maccabiah Games this summer from July 12-23, 2009, which are expected to attract 10,000 athletes and fans from all around the world. The festive opening events will pay tribute to the first Hebrew city, which in the past hosted the games at the Tel Aviv Port and the old municipal stadium. The games will culminate with a massive beach party, with Tel Aviv-Yafo’s beach strip decorated according to the different nationalities of guest athletes.

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