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City and County of Honolulu to ring in holiday season Dec. 9

Note: This is a sample representation of Shaka Santa and Tutu Mele wearing masks.

The annual Honolulu City Lights will look different this year, with a drive-by viewing of the holiday decorations at Honolulu Hale that will be on display from Wednesday, Dec. 9 through Sunday Dec. 27.

“We want everybody to be in the holiday spirit, while still staying safe,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Let’s all act with care toward one another this holiday season by wearing face coverings, staying six-feet apart, and not gathering in large groups to view the tree and other holiday decorations in front of Honolulu Hale.”

The 36th annual Honolulu City Lights will showcase scaled-down holiday decorations that can still bring on feelings of joy, but are meant to discourage large gatherings due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

City crews will install the 21-foot Shaka Santa and Tūtū Mele displays on Tuesday, Dec. 1.  In support of the recent statewide mask mandate, both will sport facial coverings as they perch in their customary spot, atop the Honolulu Hale fountain.

The city’s official 50-foot holiday tree will arrive at Honolulu Hale on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when it will be installed on the front lawn facing King Street.

The front of Honolulu Hale will be decorated and lit up for the holiday season, starting Dec. 9. City crews are stringing holiday lights through the branches of the coconut and monkey pod trees along a stretch of King Street. A scroll display recognizing the event’s valued sponsors will also be on display in front of Honolulu Hale.

No opening night festivities are planned this year, which would normally include the mayor's tree lighting ceremony, holiday concert and public workers electric light parade. Other activities not taking place this year include department tree and wreath displays in Honolulu Hale, as well as all vendor booths, amusement rides, nonprofit exhibits, and in-person photos with Santa.

Instead, a virtual tree display will allow viewers to enjoy the collection of holiday creations of 18 city departments. Also, there will be a television-only historic presentation on the making of the Honolulu City Lights. For more information, visit the
Honolulu City Lights webpage.

“While safety is our No. 1 priority this year, we are always proud to ring in the holiday season with Honolulu City Lights,” said Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city’s Department of Customer Services. “We look forward to keeping this tradition going this year with drive-by enjoyment.”

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