Friday, June 24, 2022 |
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KALAHEO — Santa will be making nightly stops on Onohi Lane in Kalaheo starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, said Larry Carveiro.
Carveiro is one of seven families on the small road in the backside of Kalaheo who have been working on light displays for the holiday season.
“My brother already started his Santa appearances, but my union said Santa can’t come here until the 16th,” Carveiro said, a twinkle in his eyes. “People are welcome to visit Mr. Claus from 7 to 9 p.m. every night from Dec. 16 to Christmas Eve. Santa has to deliver his presents after that.”
Santa is also scheduled to visit the well-decorated Leonard Vegas residence on Kaumuali‘i Highway on the days leading up to Christmas.
As cars pick their way through the wonderland of lights, a familiar figure sits behind the glow of yard lights and displays, softly chatting with neighbors while minding the public address system filling the air with Christmas carols.
Juan Lorenzo is busy working with neighborhood children in setting up finishing touches of a Christmas train as his illuminated star gains control of the sky in the waning daylight.
“At least it stopped raining,” said Meagan Nelmeida-Rice. “And the wind stopped blowing. This is perfect.”
Nelmeida-Rice’s home is one of the seven decked out in its holiday splendor, belying the problems she faces with Mother Nature.
“Somehow, my house is right in wind alley,” she said. “I need to have those plastic figures. The inflatables won’t work.”
Nelmeida-Rice said she welcomes phone calls from people who have the rigid plastic figures and are looking for homes for them.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for these plastic figures,” she said. “I’ve even bought some over the Internet, but the freight is horrendous, so if people are looking for homes for theirs, we welcome them.”
Lorenzo said the lights exploded following the wrath of Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
“We were all outside sitting around. There was no electricity, and we vowed to make sure we celebrated Christmas,” Lorenzo said.
Since then, the lights have blossomed on Onohi Lane each holiday season, adapting to the changes in technology and social climate.
“Right now, I’m about 75 percent Light Emitting Diodes,” Carveiro said. “You get a lot more light, use less electricity so it’s a lot easier to balance the load. The kids can accidentally touch the lights and won’t get burned because it’s not hot.”
Carveiro said he started making the change over last year, taking advantage of several retailers’ discounts.
“You need to watch for the sales,” Gwen said. “They don’t last forever.”
Lorenzo said his displays, including the newer star, are also being switched over to LED lights.
“It’s a lot more energy efficient,” he said. “It’s easier to balance the loads, and you don’t have the circuits tripping everytime you plug in.”
He said one visitor commented on the amount of electricity being burned, and his reply was that they needed to look at the faces of the young children.
“It’s not for you,” he said. “It’s for the children.”
Although the visits with Santa are free, and usually is accompanied by whatever treats the neighborhood prepares, Lorenzo said people are welcome to bring canned goods or non-perishable items which will go to the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank whose roster of hungry people include some of Kaua‘i’s children.
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