The Chabad Jewish Center of Missoula held the ceremonial lighting of the Menorah at the gate of the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Thursday evening. The crowd has grown each year they've done the ceremony in Hamilton. The 5:30 p.m. gathering was one of two such ceremonies from the Center.

The second lighting of a much larger Menorah will be in Missoula this weekend. The Missoula ceremony will be Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. RSVP is required by visiting their website It's free. Both gatherings were planned for large outdoor spaces that provide plenty of space for social distancing. The Missoula lighting has become a major event for the holiday season.

Chanuka, also known at the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It celebrates the miracle of a one-day supply of oil lasting eight days.

The Menorah in Hamilton. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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