Town officials at the Wilton menorah lighting included selectman Dave Clune (L), first selectman Lynne Vanderslice (center) and state rep. Gail Lavielle (R).

Hanukkah begins next week and residents are invited to Wilton’s Annual Community Menorah Lighting to celebrate on Wednesday, Dec. 13. Festivities take place on the Town Green as the giant menorah is lit by Rabbi Levi Stone of the Schneerson Center with help from town officials, most usually including first selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice. The event will also include live holiday music, Hanukkah gelt, donuts, potato latkes and dreidels, and is a family-friendly evening geared to all ages and the entire community.

This year, Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12. The holiday celebrates the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Greek Syrian oppressors in the land of Israel and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Although the Maccabees had only one day’s supply of olive oil to keep the flame of the Temple’s Eternal Light lit, it miraculously lasted eight full days until new oil was obtained–the reason why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight consecutive days with the lighting of one candle the first night and increasing each night with an additional light until all eight are lit, as a symbol of always looking to increase light and goodness.

The event will begin at 6 p.m.. It is free and open to all to attend. For more information call 203.635.4118 or visit the Schneerson Center website.