Snow gives Hanama‘ulu lights winner edge’

HANAMA‘ULU — A blanket of snow in Hawai‘i?

It was there in the yard of Michael and JoAnne Koerte on Manulele Street in Hanama‘ulu where a traditional Christmas made the transition to a more contemporary theme.

That earned the Koerte family top honors in the Best Theme Display, one of two categories in the first-ever Home Lighting Decorating Contest hosted by the Hanama‘ulu Community Association.

Michael Koerte said the snow resulted because people who have visited his annual decorations comment on how much better it would be if it had snow.

Working through different plans, materials and layout schemes, snow finally fell on the Koerte’s yard to earn him top honors in the category.

The First Christmas was the theme at Maxine Rasay’s home on Amo street that earned runner-up honors with the residence of Leonard and Lilet Villanueva on Palikea Street getting the No. 3 slot on its “Holiday Glitz” theme.

The tandem displays of the Tomacder home and that of Boris Cubangbang on Laukona Street may have helped the Cubangbang ‘ohana earn top honors in the Best in Lights category judging.

Cubangbang held nothing back as they offered an international presentation of holiday icons and lit each one brilliantly to get the top slot by less than 10 points over Christina Medina’s presentation on Laukona Street.

Medina’s runner-up position was even closer, edging out Willie Nuivo’s offering on Anai Street by just two points.

Pauline Ibia, the chair for judge selection in the contest, said the public is invited to view the displays through the holidays.

Although many of the businesses are not decorated, they are open for people to stop by following the tour that spans both the upper and lower regions of Hanama‘ulu.

Ibia said this first-ever contest was made possible through a partnership with the Waele A Ola Hou Program which provided the prizes for the winners.

While doing her follow-up work, Ibia said a lot of the residents did not get the initial mailing of the newsletters, and several entered after reading about the contest in the newspaper.

As the judges made the rounds, many of the homeowners commented, “Maybe Hanama‘ulu will light up every year and we will be called the town of lights.”

Blu Ulanday was the chair for the event.

“For next year, start early,” Ibia said. “Whether win or lose, let’s all have a Merry Christmas and get involved in the community — even if it’s just a little bit of lights.”

Where to see the Christmas lights

Hanama‘ulu — It may not be too easy to walk around on foot because of the distance between stops but Hanamau‘ulu is decked out in Christmas glitz. Many homes participated in the Home Lighting Decorating Contest this year and in some of the results you’ll not only find Santa and his reindeer but even snow on the ground. Be sure to visit the wonderful displays created by the Hanamau‘ulu community.

Waimea — In addition to the annual Waimea Christmas Parade taking place Saturday, the businesses and homes in the town of Waimea have created quite a display of luminary wonder. The holiday lights will be up until the New Year.

Wilcox Hospital — Christmas trees are on display in the Wilcox Hospital lobby as part of the Employee Christmas Tree Decorating Contest. Different teams of employees got together and collaborated to decorate the Christmas trees which remain in the lobby until Jan. 4.


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