Chabad Lubavitch will light a six-foot-tall public Hanukkah menorah on the corner of 18th Street and 53rd Avenue in Bettendorf on Sunday, Dec. 18, the first night of the eight-day Festival of Lights.

The community will be joined by the Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher, who will be attending. The free 5:30 p.m. event will inaugurate Chabad’s future home on the property that was purchased last winter, according to a Tuesday release from the Jewish organization.

Traditional Hanukkah refreshments (latkes and doughnuts) will be served. Hanukkah menorahs and candles will be available as well for participants to light at home.

This year will be Chabad’s 17th-annual outdoor Public Menorah Lighting and will once again follow the annual Parade of Light (parade of Menorah-topped cars driving through the Quad Cities) earlier in the evening.

“Everyone is especially excited about Hanukkah this year,” Rabbi Shneur Cadaner of Chabad Lubavitch of the Quad Cities said in Tuesday’s release. “People are preparing to celebrate with family and friends, to fill their homes with the light of Hanukkah, and there’s a palpable joy. The public Hanukkah celebration is about sharing this light and joy with the broader community and the entire Quad Cities.”

Hanukkah emphasizes that each and every individual has the unique power to illuminate the entire world. The planned Chabad Center will be in the strip mall the group bought at the northeast corner of Bettendorf’s 18th Street and 53rd, where the BP and Hemispheres Bistro.

The new center is to include a sanctuary, social hall, Judaic library/multimedia center, a state-of-the-art mikvah (bath for ritual purifications), fully equipped kosher kitchen, classroom, indoor play area and meeting spaces.

“The rest of the strip mall will provide income to cover Chabad expenses and be there so that we can expand if/when necessary,” Rabbi Cadaner said Tuesday by email. “G-d willing it will be available in about a year, and we are using the time while we wait to plan and design what we want from the space.”

For more information on the center, visit this website HERE. For more information on the QC Chabad group, visit its website.