The western parking lot of Old Orchard came to life Thursday evening with the arrival of the Great Jewish Family Festival. The event is put on annually by Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois to commemorate the holiday of Lag B'Omer, which marks the celebration of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a Mishnaic sage and leading disciple of Rabbi Akiva in the 2nd century.
The event featured a variety of entertainment and activities including: a ventriloquist, live bands, a juggler on stilts, numerous crafts and inflattable games, and food. Like any Lag B'Omer celebration, the event wrapped up with a closing bonfire.
"It's just for the point of people getting together and celebrating," said Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, Director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois. "It's great to have people from all backgrounds, all neighborhoods joining in one positive thing."