Local residents gathered along with religious and government leaders in downtown Evanston this evening for the 27th annual Menorah lighting  in Fountain Square.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights and Freedom, runs through Dec. 30 this year.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, State Sen. Laura Fine and Mayor Steve Hagerty were among the speakers scheduled for the event that also featured song writer, singer and pianist Paul Goldman.

Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein of the Tannenbaum Chabad House at Northwestern University, which sponsored the event, said it’s designed “to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and freedom of conscience over oppression.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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