Children bundled up and emerged from their parents’ sunroofs to hear the Purim story told by teenage volunteers and watch a fairy tale enacted at the Friendship Circle of Cleveland in Pepper Pike Feb. 21.

“Purim Land” was the title of the Friendship Circle’s fifth in its monthly tailgate series in the parking lot of the nonprofit organization, which has as its mission to provide children who have special needs with a full range of social and recreational experiences, provide their parents with respite and support, and to enrich, inspire and motivate high school teens through sharing of themselves with others, according to its website.

The sun beamed on the event with temperatures in the low 30s and on the 70 cars in the parking lot and the approximately 150 people in attendance.

“It’s been great because we’ve been able to celebrate Purim safely while still being able to observe the holiday and do other fun things for the kids,” said Amy Kalk of Solon, who brought her son, Hunter, 4, to the event, which was Candyland-themed.

“Oh, it’s wonderful,” said Lisa Waldbaum of Solon, who brought her son, Alex, 13, who smiled as he watched Madcap Puppets perform “Jack and the Gentle Giant” from an outdoor stage. “It’s so nice for the community to be able to get out and the kids to have some fun.”

“It’s fun,” said Alex, who said it’s “not very often” he sits on the car roof.

Children were given bags full of treats on their way in and a Purim box on their way out.

At the heart of Friendship Circle’s offerings are its one-on-one pairing of children and teens, which have continued with social spacing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sticking with the theme of sweets, Rabbi Yossi Marozov, executive co-director, dressed up as Willy Wonka. Estie Marozov, co-director, dressed as Queen Esther.

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