A favorite Christmas tradition on our island home of Oahu is the Honolulu City Lights celebration.
Ku'u Home ~ Our Home. is the theme for this year's Honolulu City Lights celebration. The theme was chosen to honor the diverse cultures of our island, our history and the Spirit of Aloha.
2008 marks the 24th year for Honolulu City Lights celebration. A lone 50' tree standing in front of our Honolulu Hale (Hawaiian for City Hall) was the beginning of this treasured tradition. The Honolulu City Lights now is made up of lighted displays, buildings and trees which runs through our downtown, Capitol District, Civic Center and Chinatown areas, with the traditional 50' lighted tree as the focal point.
The Honolulu City Lights is a wonderful sight to behold day or night but to get the full impact of its beauty, seeing it at night with all the lights aglow is the best time. You will want to bring a camera along to capture the memories.
Whether you have been naughty or nice you will want to visit Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele (Mr. and Mrs. Clause). Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele are easy to find in front of the Honolulu Hale in their bright traditional garb, island style. Two new displays this year are located in Bishop Street area. The Bank of Hawaii is decorated with a beautiful lei of crown-flowers along with swags which feature local musical instruments, adorning the building. Across the street, the First Hawaiian Bank has placed a display of three trees featuring a forest look combined with tapa (a Hawaiian cloth).
There are so many wonderful displays that I cannot mention them all here, you will need to go and see them yourself. If you are not an islander and are reading this blog, the Honolulu City Lights will be on display until January 1, so you still have time to jet over and see it for yourself, or you can plan a trip for next year, although the displays may be a little different as they change from year to year.
There are several ways that you can enjoy touring the Honolulu City of Lights, you can take a leisurely stroll, drive your car, ride a bike or take a tour on a fire truck or on a trolley. Unfortunately, if you have not already purchased tickets for the trolley tour, you will have to wait for next year, as the tickets are sold out. Fire truck tours are available until December 28 (no tours on the 24th and 25th) between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tours begin and end at the Mission Houses Museum .
The Spirit of Aloha is demonstrated in a very special way this year as the Honolulu City Lights celebration has gone green! Many of the displays have been recycled by sprucing them up and changing them up a bit. All the lights on the Honolulu Hale grounds are twinkling LED lights, which save up to 85% in energy usage.
The Honolulu City Lights celebration is totally supported by Honolulu city employees, local businesses and Friends of Honolulu City Lights, a non-profit organization, another demonstation of the Spirit of Aloha. Friends of Honolulu City Lights help to raise funds through various fund raisers including the sale of commemorative Christmas ornaments and T-shirts.
Fire Truck Tour: Mission Houses Museum, 555 S. King Street, Fare: $7, Keiki (children) 2 and under: $3. Reserversations are recommended. Contact: 590.2100